Obama’s chief of staff pays visit to Boehner

Greg Nash

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met on Monday with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough to discuss the backlog of claims at the Veterans Administration.

McDonough requested the meeting, which occurred in Boehner’s Capitol office, after the Speaker “urged the president to address the unacceptable backlog at the Veterans Administration,” said Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman.

McDonough declined to comment after leaving his office, other than to say it was “good to see the Speaker.”

Boehner, earlier this month, stood with veterans to decry the backlog that has caused delays in the receipt of healthcare treatment and benefits. He championed House legislation that would make it easier to fire senior officials at the VA in an attempt to hold people at the department accountable.

The VA opposes the House bill.

In events this month with the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Obama has noted a 40 percent drop in the backlog over the last year while reiterating his commitment to eliminating it by 2015.

— Justin Sink contributed.