CVA Launches Campaign Holding Walz Accountable for Vote to Block Choice Funding
Arlington, VA – Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) is launching a campaign to hold Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, accountable for standing in the way of emergency funding for the Veterans Choice Program as the program was facing an urgent budget shortfall. Walz voted against a common-sense, fiscally responsible solution to funding the Veterans Choice Program.
CVA is acting quickly to make Minnesota activists and concerned citizens aware of Rep. Walz’s actions. The group is currently promoting a digital tool that allows citizens to contact Rep. Walz’s office via phone or email, and has plans for further activity.
CVA Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“At a critical moment, Rep. Walz stood directly between veterans and their access to health care. Walz opposed a common-sense, fiscally responsible solution for addressing the Veterans Choice Program budget shortfall and instead used the opportunity to advance an anti-choice agenda. He has a history of playing politics with VA issues and failing to stand up for veterans when it counts. Our activists will hold Rep. Walz accountable for his repeated failure to act in veterans’ best interests.”
Rep. Walz voted against legislation that would have improved accountability at the VA on two separate occasions. In 2015 and 2017, he opposed pieces of legislation that would have allowed the VA secretary to move quickly to terminate employees found guilty of wrong-doing.
New legislation to provide the Choice Program with emergency funding passed the Senate last night. CVA had been urging citizens to utilize a digital tool allowing them to sign a petition, call their officials, or send emails to their Senators in support of saving the Choice Program.
The Veterans Choice Program, which was enacted under the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, was implemented in response to the wait list scandal of 2014. It was passed as a stop-gap measure and was never intended to be a permanent solution. Despite the program’s imperfections, Secretary Shulkin recently testified before Congress that failing to fund the program would be a major blow to the VA, specifically by increasing wait times.