VA reform bill headed to Senate floor

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidVirginia was a wave election, but without real change, the tide will turn again Top Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said a bipartisan deal to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department will soon hit the Senate floor.

Reid said he’ll bring the legislation up “in the next 24 hours, 48 hours at most” and said it’s “urgent” that Congress take action to fix the long wait times in the VA’s healthcare system.

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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's dangerous Guantánamo fixation will fuel fire for terrorists Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Ad encourages GOP senator to vote 'no' on tax bill MORE (R-Ariz.), who crafted the compromise bill with Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDe Blasio headed to Iowa to speak at political fundraiser Yes, spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil Why sexual harassment discussions include lawmakers talking about Bill Clinton’s past MORE (I-Vt.), predicted the legislation will hit the Senate floor on Wednesday.

"We're going to take it up tomorrow," McCain told reporters. He did not say when there would be a final vote on the measure, noting "there will be amendments from both parties."

The bill would give the VA secretary more latitude to dismiss senior executives, provides $500 million to hire more doctors and nurses and establish a two-year pilot program that would allow veterans living more than 40 miles from a VA hospital to see the doctor of their choice.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money Klobuchar taking over Franken's sexual assault bill MORE (R-Ky.) said the chamber might be able to finish the bill this week.

The House on Tuesday approved its own VA reform bill. Passed 421-0, the bill would require the VA to pay for enrolled veterans' medical care from private doctors if they cannot get appointments within the department's wait time goals.

— Cristina Marcos contributed.