Tipton wants bill to cut backlog at Veterans Affairs
An amendment by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., to a spending bill would divert $10 million in conference spending toward efforts to cut the case backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The amendment was accepted by unanimous consent and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act was then passed by the full House.
The VA backlog has grown by more than 2,000 percent over the past four years despite an increase in the VA budget of more than 20 percent, Tipton said on the House floor, noting that the VA reported in March there were 606,000 backlogged claims of 865,989 total claims.
An inspector general’s report said the VA spent more than $6.1 million on two human-resources conferences in Orlando, Fla., and nearly $100,000 on unnecessary promotional items like bags, pens and water bottles, Tipton said.
“This isn’t just a statistic we’re talking about, this is literally people’s lives,” Tipton said. “Many of the veterans in the backlog are in desperate need of care — care that has been delayed needlessly because of the bureaucratic backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”