Boehner to VA officials: Fix disability backlog or 'you gotta go'

 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday slammed officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs for failing to reduce the huge disability claims backlog that has plagued the VA, adding that the failure means managers need to be fired or demoted.

On the House floor, Boehner said that backlog is "nothing short of a black eye for our government."

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"Reform won't get very far if it's carried out by managers who have proven that they're not up to the job," he said.

To help solve the problem, Boehner encouraged all members to support H.R. 4031, a bill that would streamline the process of firing or demoting officials at the VA. That bill was introduced back in February, and now has 46 co-sponsors in the House.

Boehner said that, so far, VA officials charged with untangling the backlog of thousands of disability claims have only received "half-measures or slaps on the wrist."

"The principle here is simple: When you're not getting the job done, you gotta go," he said. "At the VA, it's been quite the opposite."

"The VA is failing our veterans and their families," he said. "It's time we hold these people accountable and get people in there who can fix this backlog once and for all."

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