Cole Supports Accountability of Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House unanimously passed H.R. 4810, the Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014. This legislation allows veterans to seek medical care through a non-Department facility if they are unable to get an appointment secured within 14 days or if they live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility.
“Last month, we were confronted by the unacceptable treatment of our veterans due to mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Cole. “This mismanagement resulted in extended wait times for securing an appointment and prevented many veterans from getting the care they needed when they needed it. While we continue to investigate and remedy the situation at the VA, I am pleased that lawmakers passed a measure that will give veterans the option of seeing a doctor elsewhere. We must never fail to take care of those who put their lives on the line for us.”
Passage of this legislation complements other efforts that address the severe mismanagement and lack of accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In late May, the House passed H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, which gives the VA Secretary the authority to remove senior executives if performance warrants it. On Monday, the House also passed by voice vote H.R. 2072, the Demanding Accountability for Veterans Act of 2014, which provides greater accountability of the VA through the VA Inspector General.