For Immediate Release: Kate Pomeroy | 703-638-3927 Arlington, VA—Veterans advocacy organization Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) said today that Congress should move to demand real performance accountability from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) before approving further funding increased for the troubled agency. Under President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, the VA would receive $163.9 billion, roughly $10.1 billion in new funding over the previous fiscal year. But Darin Selnick, CVA’s lead advisor on VA matters, said additional funding to the VA would be wasted without reforms to improve accountability at the department. Selnick issued the following statement in response:
“By proposing an additional $10.1 billion in funding for the VA, the Obama administration will no doubt win the political plaudits the president hopes to receive. But as a veteran, a former VA employee and a longtime observer of the department, I would caution against throwing more money down the VA rabbit-hole without taking steps to improve the department’s performance. “The department has serious performance and accountability issues, for which our veterans and their families are paying the price. Long backlogs for benefits, rampant waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars, questionable record-keeping—the VA’s top job should be winning back the trust of American veterans and taxpayers. “Before throwing more money at a deeply dysfunctional department, Congress must pass strong accountability measures. The VA Management Accountability Act of 2014, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), would empower the VA secretary to fire executives who fail to perform. That’s a good place to start. “Over the last five years, the VA has received funding boosts of 56 percent, yet the quality and timeliness of care for our veterans has suffered mightily. Before we throw more money at a failing venture, we should take steps to ensure that the VA is prepared to work on behalf of the needs of veterans, not bureaucrats.”
For more information, or to schedule an interview with Darin Selnick, please contact Kate Pomeroy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-638-3927
Concerned Veterans for America is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.