WASHINGTON – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement today about House efforts to ensure that our veterans get the care and treatment they have earned.
“Recent news from across the nation has brought to light troubling allegations of widespread neglect and mistreatment throughout the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. These allegations – if true – are unacceptable.
“Despite reports that President Obama is ‘madder than hell’ about these allegations, his comments today – and the actions of his administration so far – show that he is far from it. In fact, it seems President Obama has changed President Truman’s famous sign to read: ‘the buck stops anywhere but here.’ Our nation’s heroes don’t want excuses or false scapegoats with pre-planned exits; they want and deserve accountability and solutions.
“That is why I voted today to pass H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014. This legislation will make it easier to fire or demote any senior executive of the VA who presided over the current state of negligence and mismanagement within the department.
“I also joined my colleagues from Texas in a letter to the Acting Inspector General of the VA, regarding the alleged problems in Austin, Waco, and San Antonio. The letter reads (in part):
‘We ask that you expeditiously and thoroughly investigate the claims regarding misconduct at these VA facilities and report your findings back to Congress. Any individuals found to have engaged in misconduct or mismanagement must face serious consequences.’
“It is unconscionable for the brave men and women who have sacrificed to make our country and the world a better, safer place to live to receive anything less than the highest quality care we can provide. We must address the systemic lack of accountability at the VA so that veterans will finally get the care they need and deserve, when they need it. I am committed to ensuring we fix the problems at the VA and keep our promise to our nation’s veterans.”