For Immediate Release: Arlington, VA – Today, President Obama addressed the Disabled American Veterans national convention, outlining what his administration is doing to keep America’s promises to our nation’s heroes. Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) issued the following response:
“For months now, a multitude of problems at VA—especially the bureaucratic disability claims backlog—have fallen on deaf ears in the White House, so we applaud the President for finally taking the time to address this long overdue issue. It’s unfortunate that it took efforts of groups like Concerned Veterans for America and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, along with sharp words from many Members of Congress, to finally get the President to give the topic the issue it deserves. This speech was long overdue. “For the past year, CVA has brought attention to the VA backlog problem by significantly raising public awareness, thereby forcing VA to respond with short-term measures to reduce the number of pending and backlogged claims. These temporary steps — like mandatory overtime and provisional rulings — have created the perception of improvement. Yet, 800,000 veterans are still waiting. “If the president is truly committed about fixing the VA backlog—and the prospects of future backlogs—he should empower Secretary Shinseki, and all future VA secretaries, with the authority needed to hold VA employees accountable for their work. VA employees have one obligation—to serve America’s veterans; and VA employees at all levels should be hired, fired, and rewarded based on the merits of their efforts alone. Bad employees are nearly impossible to fire at VA, and we have seen countless examples of VA employees receiving bonuses when none were deserved. This unacceptable culture must change. “Only this type of systemic civil service reform will allow VA to forge a culture of excellence that ensures the needs of veterans are met in a timely, accurate, and appreciative manner. To this end, CVA has gathered more than 25,000 signatures calling on President Obama to instill accountability in the department and fix the VA backlog. CVA will deliver this petition to the White House on August 20th, and continue our efforts from there.”
To schedule an interview with Pete Hegseth, please contact Kate Pomeroy at 703-638-3927 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerned Veterans for America is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom andliberty we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.