Statement : Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies

May 28, 2020 Statement
"During this horrible coronavirus crisis, our responsibility to the men and women who have served our country has never been more vital. This Administration’s lack of preparation and mismanagement has led to needless death and suffering, and much fear among veterans, their families, and the health care professionals who care for them."
May 28, 2020 Statement
"I cannot underscore enough the importance of this hearing as we strive to take care of our veterans and do everything in our power to keep our frontline health care workers safe. This hearing is an important opportunity to provide oversight of the almost $20 billion Congress has appropriated to VA in emergency funding in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act to assist VA in combating the pandemic."
March 11, 2020 Statement
"This is an issue that directly affects our military readiness. Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our men and women in uniform, and their families, is vital to developing a strong fighting force that can face the world’s threats. Unfortunately, just like we highlighted last week in our hearing on the failures of privatized housing, our servicemembers are facing threats of a more widespread and insidious nature. In this case, it’s the threat from dangerous, long-lasting chemicals that are far, far too present on and around our military bases."
March 10, 2020 Statement
"To best identify the needs of our Veterans, we must hear from them and partner with those who know them best: our Veteran Service Organizations. Today’s witnesses work tirelessly to assist our Veterans daily as they navigate the too-often cumbersome VA system, the transition to civilian life, and the physical, emotional, psychological, and financial challenges our Veterans face upon returning home. While VA has made great strides in recent years, we know our work is far from done."
March 10, 2020 Statement
"The hearing today will ensure that Members have an opportunity to provide input into the bill this Subcommittee will produce for fiscal year 2021. We are pleased that we have six Members here to discuss a variety of Military Construction and Veterans programs. This hearing is vital for us as Appropriators. It provides us the opportunity to zero in on the issues our colleagues are dealing with and help them address important issues through our Committee’s work."
March 4, 2020 Statement
"The only way to make the President’s budget work is to get a cap adjustment for the MISSION Act. We have bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the need for a budget cap adjustment for the MISSION Act. Last year, MISSION Act cost $8.9 billion, this year it will cost $11.6 billion, and the costs will continue to rise in future years. Unfortunately, the Administration has adamantly refused to make this vital accommodation, and so I once again urge you, Mr. Secretary, to make this case to the White House and OMB."
March 3, 2020 Statement
"Many of the problems experienced by military families appear to be products of poor management by private partners and insufficient or ineffective oversight by military services. Many military families have complained about the maintenance support they have received from the partners."
February 27, 2020 Statement
"The men and women who have faithfully served our nation deserve no less than a seamless and problem-free system – something we have been promising for the past two decades. The transfer of health information should ease the burden of transitioning servicemembers with service-connected injuries and illnesses. It also should lay the groundwork for exchange with private sector caregivers, an essential part of Veterans healthcare. Today we need insight into the ongoing challenges and the steps that are being taken to mitigate future risk. It is our duty to both veterans and taxpayers to realize the benefits of this transformation as soon as possible."
February 27, 2020 Statement
"On behalf of my colleagues and more importantly, the veterans we represent, I do expect and demand better communication from VA on ongoing issues regarding EHRM implementation. Despite quarterly briefings, we are not getting accurate and timely information. The status quo is completely unacceptable."
November 14, 2019 Statement
"The very office that was created to protect whistleblowers was actively retaliating against them. What is deeply concerning is that since the creation of the office, OAWP has allowed corrupt leaders who have not been concerned with the responsibility or with complying with the mission of the office. Quite simply, the first two executive directors, Peter O’Rourke and his successor Kirk Nicholas, betrayed our veterans. I want to hear what steps are being taken to ensure that such an egregious breach of trust never happens again."

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