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.”


COMMENTS

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While Congressman Scott Tipton deserves credit for focusing on the truly scandalous backlog at the VA (“Tipton wants bill to cut backlog at Veterans Affairs”, June 6, 2013), his continued support for the partisan “witch hunt” arising from the fake Benghazi “scandal” (“Obama names Rice as national security adviser; Tipton, Bennet mixed on Obama’s selection”, June 6, 2013) remains reprehensible.

Hopefully, the diversion of “$10 million from conference spending toward efforts to cut the case backlog” will have the desired effect on the backlog without compromising employee training.  Unfortunately, bureaucracies operating in a “use it or lose it” budgetary environment too often find ways to pad expenses in order to avoid cutbacks.  In 2010, the Census Bureau spent some $1 million saved by understaffing Census2010 in Western Colorado on a lavish get-together in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, contrary to Tipton’s disingenuous statement, the appointment of former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as President Obama’s chosen national security adviser no more “circumvents any oversight” than did President Bush’s appointment of Condoleezza Rice to that position – and/or his father’s appointment of Colin Powell thereto.  Indeed, the position was established by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 to provide independent and consolidated counsel to the President on national security matters and therefore embodies the doctrine of “separation of powers” imbedded in our Constitution.

Similarly, Tipton resorts to familiar partisan * by falsely asserting that Rice was “at the forefront of misrepresenting” the Benghazi attacks.  As Tipton surely knows from Darrell Issa’s “circus” hearings, there were no such “misrepresentations”.  Rather, Rice relied on “talking points” developed and provided by our intelligence community – all 12 iterations of which perhaps incorrectly opined that the attack arose “spontaneously”, because a national security directive prohibited speculation as to responsible parties in order to avoid compromising and/or complicating the anticipated FBI investigation.

The 3d CD deserves better from Scott Tipton.

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