Senate to Hold Confirmation Hearing for VA Secretary

Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to hold nomination hearing for Robert McDonald, the White House’s choice to lead the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs. CLick Photo to read more.

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Another VA Scandal, Very Much Like the Last One

Witnesses at a HVAC hearing testified that the Veterans Benefits Administration created unrealistic goals, manipulated data to meet its targets, and fostered a corrosive culture. Click on the photo to read more.

Federal officials prepare to testify about VA benefits processing during a hearing on Capitol Hill. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Continue reading ...

Senate Panel Backs 1 Percent Pay Increase

Senate appropriators plan to fund only a 1 percent basic pay raise for troops next year and will go along with a Pentagon proposal to trim housing allowances in an effort to rein in personnel costs. Click Photo to read more.

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Latest News

Miller Statement on VA Request for More Funding

After Acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs that VA needs approximately $17.6 billion in additional funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014 through Fiscal Year 2017, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement on July 16:

“I am committed to giving VA the resources it needs to provide our veterans with the care and benefits they have earned. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last few months, it’s that we can’t trust VA’s numbers. That includes the $17.6 billion in additional funding Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson asked for today. Given that this figure seems to have magically fallen out of the sky today – after years of assertions from VA leaders at all levels that they had nearly every dollar and every person necessary to accomplish VA’s mission – it would be an act of budgetary malpractice to blindly sign off on this request. VA has had hundreds of millions more in medical care funding than it could spend every fiscal year since 2010. So if VA truly needs this additional $17.6 billion, that would mean the VA administrators involved in past department resource-allocation decisions are either incompetent, disingenuous, or both.”

Pat Williams To Deliver Keynote at VVA Leadership & Education Conference

Pat Williams

(Washington, D.C.)—Pat Williams, the co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, will give the Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremonies of Vietnam Veterans of America’s National Leadership & Education Conference on Wednesday morning, August 6, at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kansas.

“Pat Williams has been a general manager with three NBA teams, and he led the Philadelphia 76ers to NBA Championship,” VVA National President John Rowan said. “Not only that, but Pat’s one of the world’s best motivational speakers, and I, for one, am really looking forward to what he has to say to our organization’s leading advocates as we kick of the conference in Wichita.”

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More Veteran News

While on a site visit to a VA benefits facility in Philadelphia, one staff member from the House Veterans Affairs Committee saw a note written by a VA worker about the investigative visit - it said the VA should ignore their work.

Whistleblowers Rap VA's “Culture of Corruption”

Jamie Dupree, in a July 14 article for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, reported on the Monday House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on benefits: “It was a familiar story line before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Monday night—but from a different part of the VA—as another panel of whistleblowers detailed how they raised questions about troubles inside the agency, only to face retaliation for sending their concerns to their superiors.

" 'They were instructing us to change the dates on claims, on any claims,' said Kristin Ruell, a VA employee in the Philadelphia benefits office, a charge that seemed much like the data manipulation dealing with delays in medical appointments for veterans, which in this case would make it look like the VA was dealing with veterans claims more swiftly than what was really happening.

"Ruell said it was very obvious that VA bosses did not appreciate any whistleblowing reports on veterans benefits claims. 'After my last whistleblowing attempt, my name was forwarded to the people I reported,' Ruell said, adding that the next morning, 'my car was dented.' "

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The Veterans Affairs Crisis: Is it About the Money?

Jamie Reno prefaces his July 16 article for The Reno Dispatch with the following: “Some of my most trusted sources insist that the wait times and many of the embattled agency's other ills are indeed the result of the lack of resources needed to hire enough doctors and other quality healthcare staff. It isn't a popular sentiment these days. But there may be something to it....”

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Press Releases

Basketball Hall of Famer Pat Williams To Deliver Keynote Speech at Vietnam Veterans of America’s National Leadership & Education Conference (July 15, 2014)

(Washington, D.C.)—Pat Williams, the co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, will give the Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremonies of Vietnam Veterans of America’s National Leadership & Education Conference on Wednesday morning, August 6, at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kansas.

“Pat Williams has been a general manager with three NBA teams, and he led the Philadelphia 76ers to NBA Championship,” VVA National President John Rowan said. “Not only that, but Pat’s one of the world’s best motivational speakers, and I, for one, am really looking forward to what he has to say to our organization’s leading advocates as we kick of the conference in Wichita.”

 

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Personality Disorder Discharges

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The Department of Defense (DoD) has violated the law by failing to release records showing that it has wrongfully discharged nearly 26,000 service members on the basis of so-called "Personality Disorder."