The vice chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee on Saturday called on the Obama administration to do more to fight inefficiency in the Veteran Affairs' Department.


In the Republican Party’s weekly address, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) delivered a message to the country’s veterans.

“America is what she is because of you,” he said. “We are free because of you. You have borne the battle, and we have vowed to take care of you and yours.”

“I only wish that your government always lived up to this promise,” he continued. “It has been nearly two years since VA Secretary Eric ShinsekiEric Ken ShinsekiVA might not be able to end veteran homelessness, but we shouldn't stop trying Bill HR 2333 is a good step to helping curb veteran suicide  Senate confirms Trump's VA pick despite opposition from some Dems MORE resigned amid a series of scandals. At the time, the president said — and I quote — ‘the number one priority is making sure that problems get fixed.’”

Bilirakis questioned whether the VA was a high enough priority for the Obama administration, noting that the agency is still plagued with issues.

“Despite receiving more authority to clean up the bureaucracy, the VA has held almost no one accountable for manipulating wait times,” he said. “Meanwhile, some of the same people responsible for these problems received bonuses as if nothing happened. That’s unacceptable as far as I’m concerned.”

“To you, these are life and death issues. But too often at the VA, it is business as usual,” Bilirakis added.

The Florida congressman went on to detail legislative efforts to address the VA, noting that the House passed a measure to fund the agency this week. The legislation prohibits certain VA executives from receiving bonuses.

“Because we can’t throw money at the problem all the time, OK?” he said. “It won’t go away just doing that. We need real and meaningful reforms at the VA.”

“And we need President Obama to keep his word to you, and make it his top priority to fix the problems at the VA,” he added.