Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes for Passage of Bipartisan VA Accountability Legislation
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass S.1094, legislation that will increase accountability and improve oversight authorities at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This bill, supported by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), among others, unanimously passed the Senate last week, and will now go to the President for consideration.
“For too long, veterans in Hawaiʻi and across the country have faced a crisis of unacceptable delays and challenges as they try to access quality care from the VA. The systemic problems within the VA that created this situation cannot be ignored. This bipartisan legislation will enact long-overdue reforms to provide accountability and improve oversight at the VA, while maintaining protections for whistleblowers and ensuring due process for workers. The mission of the VA is to take care of our veterans, and our country must keep its’ promise to provide them with the best possible care,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a strong voice calling for accountability and systemic changes at the VA to ensure veterans get the quality care they need and deserve. In response to investigations revealing egregious wait times across the country for veterans seeking an appointment with a primary care physician, the congresswoman introduced the Access to Care and Treatment (ACT) Now for Veterans Act to allow veterans to get the immediate care they need from non-VA medical providers. The premise of her legislation was ultimately included in the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act signed into law in 2014. She has also introduced legislation like the Veterans Administration Bonus Elimination Act to prevent bonuses for senior VA executives who fail to meet VA requirements for veterans health care and has supported legislation to reform rural health access, improve veterans mental health care, and more.