Boehner: 'Arrogance' at VA leaves veterans 'ignored'
© Greg Nash

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump MORE (R-Ohio) took to the House floor on Wednesday to blast the lack of significant progress at the Department of Veterans' Affairs in processing benefits claims.

Boehner's speech fell a week before the one-year anniversary of Eric Shinseki resigning as Secretary of Veterans' Affairs, as well as the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.

Boehner noted that wait times for veterans seeking health care remain about the same despite Congress passing legislation last year providing $16.3 billion to help cut down on the backlog.

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"This isn't run-of-the-mill incompetence. It's arrogance. And it's arrogance that allows our veterans to be lied to, ignored, and frankly left to die," Boehner said.

The Speaker questioned why employees at VA facilities that tried to conceal wait times were mostly transferred, allowed to retire, or put on paid leave.

"If only the Veterans Administration did half as good a job of taking care of the bureaucrats as they do our veterans, we'd be in a lot better shape," Boehner said.

The law approved by Congress last year allows veterans to seek private care outside VA medical facilities and provides funding for the VA to hire more doctors.

Public outrage over extended wait times at VA hospitals gave momentum to the legislation last year and spurred Shinseki's resignation. An inspector general report found that patients at a VA hospital in Phoenix waited an average of 115 days for an initial doctor's appointment, despite official data that claimed they only waited 24 days.