Chairman Miller Responds to OIG Report, What’s Still Needed | Veterans for Common Sense

The following statements were released by the office of Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL-01), Chairman of the U.S House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

On August 7, a statement by Rep. Miller on the signing into law of the VA Reform Bill included this sage insight and advice:

“VA’s problems festered because administration officials ignored or denied the department’s challenges at every turn. In order to prevent history from repeating itself, President Obama must become personally involved in solving VA’s many problems.”

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Miller Statement on VA OIG Review of Phoenix VA Health Care System

WASHINGTON – Aug. 26, 2014 — Following the release of the VA Inspector General’s review of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, Chairman Jeff Miller released the below statement.

“The inspector general’s report paints a very disturbing picture. Delays in care that VA officials tried to hide caused harm to veterans. Even though the IG says it can’t conclusively assert that deaths were caused by VA negligence, the report does link 20 deaths to substandard care.

Almost as troubling as the report itself is the fact that VA officials sought to downplay it by selectively leaking portions of the department’s response to the review prior to its release. The VA scandal was caused by bureaucrats who chose to whitewash or conceal the department’s problems.

The fact that some department officials are still engaging in similar practices underscores the dire need for real accountability throughout the organization. So far, despite repeated requests from our committee, we have seen no evidence that the corrupt bureaucrats who created the VA scandal will be purged from the department’s payroll anytime soon. Until that happens, VA will never be fixed.” –

-Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

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Miller Statement on President Obama’s Speech to American Legion National Convention

WASHINGTON – Aug. 26, 2014 — After President Obama’s speech to the American Legion National convention, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement.

“President Obama’s actions today fall far short of what’s needed to regain the trust of America’s veterans. VA’s problems festered because administration officials ignored or denied the department’s challenges at every turn.

In fact, I wrote to the president more than a year ago about a string of serious VA health care problems, lapses in employee integrity and failures in accountability, but the president didn’t bother to respond. Instead, I received a boilerplate letter from then-Sec. Eric Shinseki that assured me everything was OK at the department – an assertion that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Additionally, White House claims that VA is improving when it comes to accountability, transparency and protecting whistleblowers don’t add up, especially when no one has been fired as a result of the VA scandal, the department is still sitting on 113 outstanding information requests from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and VA whistleblowers who tried to expose problems are still enduring retaliation.

What we need from the president right now is more follow-through and less flash when it comes to helping veterans. A good place for him to start would be to meet with family members and veterans who have been struck by the VA scandal, order the department to cooperate with the congressional committees investigating VA, and force DoD and VA to work together to establish a joint electronic health record integrated across all DoD and VA components.”

– Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

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