The House on Wednesday adopted multiple amendments to the first fiscal 2015 appropriations bill of the year to address the backlog of benefits claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Members first gave voice vote approval to an amendment offered by Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Matt SalmonMatthew (Matt) James SalmonCOVID-19's class divide creates new political risks Arizona voters like Kyl but few think he'll stick around Former Sen. Jon Kyl to replace McCain in Senate MORE (R-Ariz.) that would increase funding for the Veterans Affairs (VA) inspector general by $1 million. It would be offset by reducing funds for the Office of General Administration by the same amount.

The Arizona lawmakers touted their proposal as a response to recent allegations that a VA hospital  in Phoenix maintained a "secret waiting list" to avoid reporting on extended care delays. The House Veterans Affairs Committee said earlier this month said that the delays may have caused as many as 40 deaths. 


"This is unconscionable," Salmon said. "This is the least we can do."

Sinema said that increasing funds for the inspector general's office would help boost staffing to investigate the nationwide delays in processing veterans' claims.

"We need answers for Phoenix, but this is not an isolated incident," Sinema said.

Members also adopted, by voice vote, an amendment offered by Rep. Jim CostaJames (Jim) Manuel CostaHispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs Black Caucus rallies behind Meeks for Foreign Affairs gavel Let's support and ensure the safety of workers risking so much for us MORE (D-Calif.) that would increase general operating expenses for veterans benefits administration by $10 million.

Additionally, a Rep. Raul RuizRaul RuizHouse Democrat who's a physician calls on Trump to 'man up' and wear mask In Trump response to coronavirus, left sees environmental injustice House coronavirus bill aims to prevent utility shutoffs MORE (D-Calif.) amendment adopted by voice vote would provide $5 million for digital scanning of health and benefits files as the VA transitions to an electronic system for processing claims.