MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP
Democrats continue to closely monitor reports of misconduct at Veterans Affairs health facilities, including the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The VA Inspector General released an interim report on Wednesday that showed 1,700 veterans were left off of the electronic waiting list and without care. This report is deeply disturbing, and Democrats are focused on holding those responsible accountable and determining how to ensure these inappropriate actions are never repeated. The President has taken swift action to make certain veterans can get the care they need, investigate what happened, and take steps to ensure the VA system works for all veterans.
Today, the House of Representatives passed its third appropriations bill of 2015, funding the Departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as several federal science programs. I was pleased that this bill made many important investments, including funding for NASA and the National Science Foundation, and that both parties could come together to pass an amendment to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to help prevent violent criminals and the seriously mentally ill from obtaining weapons. However, I was disappointed that Republicans made drastic cuts to programs that keep our communities safe and boost American innovation and exports.
While I’m pleased the appropriations process continues to move ahead, it’s unfortunate that House Republicans continue to ignore important issues. In the coming weeks, I will continue to urge them to act on comprehensive immigration reform before Congress adjurns for August recess. Despite Republican House leaders' continued rhetoric on the need to fix our broken immigration system, the Republican leadership has failed to take any action to bring a bill to the Floor. Unfortunately Republicans have also failed to respond to other important issues that matter to American families, such as raising the minimum wage and restoring emergency unemployment insurance for millions of Americans still looking for work. I hope that when the House returns in June we can work together to address these critical issues.
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DEMOCRATIC NEWS UPDATE
On the VA
- Hoyer Statement on Resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki
- Hoyer: Veterans Affairs Interim Report is Deeply Disturbing, Demands Action