VA reform bill headed to Senate floor

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations Republicans come full circle with Supreme Court battle to the end 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.


Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMurkowski not worried about a Palin challenge Kavanaugh fight a GOP wake up call, but more is needed MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace: I told Jeb Bush 'he should have punched' Trump 'in the face' MORE (R-Ariz.), who crafted the compromise bill with Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Senators concerned as Trump official disputes UN climate change warning Jake Tapper hits Trump over 'Medicare for all' op-ed: ‘It’s only an hourlong show, we can’t get into every lie’ 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 McConnellGOP Senate candidate: Kavanaugh 'debacle' 'hugely motivating' to Missouri voters Trump praises McConnell: He ‘stared down the angry left-wing mob’ to get Kavanaugh confirmed Murkowski not worried about a Palin challenge 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.