Committee seeks answers on VA secret list

645X363 - No Companion - Full Sharing - Additional videos are suggested

The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold a hearing Wednesday about healthcare mismanagement that might have led to the deaths of dozens of veterans and is threatening more subpoenas should the department fail to comply fully.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has come under fire for allegedly hiding patients on its waiting lists who later died.

ADVERTISEMENT
Last week Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said he was “suspicious” the department might be hiding information after a subpoena to unearth documents related to the scandal uncovered little.

Miller noted he had asked for emails and documents between VA heads, including Secretary Eric Shinseki, about the department’s destruction of a document that some officials say could be the “secret” list recently cited by Phoenix VA whistleblowers in one case.

However, his office only received 200 emails at the time from Thomas Lynch, an assistant deputy under secretary at the VA.

The committee also notes several VA officials had previously declined to appear before lawmakers to answer their questions and would consider subpoenaing the department if its officials decline again.

“VA has promised to make officials available to the committee May 28, but in the event they do not appear, VA will be served with a subpoena that would compel all three witnesses to testify before the committee May 30,” said the committee.

Besides Lynch, Joan Mooney, a VA assistant secretary, and Michael Huff, a congressional relations officer, are scheduled to update the committee on the VA’s efforts to provide documents related to the scandal.