Congressman Gibbs Applauds the Passage of the Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill
“As of April 1st, there are 14,505 claims pending and 8,094 are considered backlogged in Ohio. When our veterans have to wait years for the benefits they have earned or are even denied the medical care they need, we fail our veterans and our country. I have sent letters to Secretary Eric Shinseki regarding the almost five to ten year processing time for disability claims appeals at the Cleveland Ohio Veterans Affairs Regional Office. These outrageous wait times place many of our veterans under a lifetime of hardship that could have been avoided with proper oversight. Our veterans have made sacrifices and our country can begin to pay them back by helping them receive the care and support they need most.
“As a nation we have a moral obligation to ensure that our veterans are receiving the services they deserve. On April 30th , my colleagues and I passed H.R. 4486, legislation funding Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. A recent investigation conducted by the Veterans Affairs committee found that senior executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs were collecting large bonuses despite failing to serve our veterans. I am pleased language was included in the Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that demands accountability in the Veterans Affairs system. The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 secures $158 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a 7 percent increase of funding over the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This increase in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs further equips the agency with the tools and resources they need to stop the unacceptable amount of backlog.”