LaMalfa Passes Measures on House Floor Demanding Accountability at Veterans Affairs

May 21, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) today spoke in favor of a bill he cosponsored to authorize the termination of senior Veterans Affairs officials who have been complicit in abuses at the federal agency. He also authored and passed an amendment requiring Veterans Affairs offices to provide  updates on veterans’ claims, regardless of whether claims had been reassigned to different VA offices.

“The President said today that those responsible for the misdeeds at Veterans Affairs will be held responsible, but we heard the same tune from him when he ran for office back in 2008,” said LaMalfa. “Much like other members of his administration who have failed in their duties, the VA officials responsible for the wrongdoing in Arizona are simply on paid administrative leave. This measure will ensure that when abuses occur at the VA, the bureaucrats responsible are fired – not on a paid vacation.”  

The bill, H.R. 4301, passed LaMalfa’s amendment, which he cosponsored with Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), passed unanimously and was added to the National Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 4435.

“After waiting months for their claims to be processed, the absolute last thing veterans should hear is that red tape doesn’t allow VA offices to communicate their claim’s status.  Bureaucratic confusion over jurisdiction should never prevent a VA office from providing veterans with information that veterans need to ensure that they receive the benefits they have earned,” added LaMalfa.  

“I’m grateful to have successfully collaborated with Rep. LaMalfa on this important reform to help veterans. Simply put, the size of the VA backlog is unacceptable. Our veterans put their lives on the line to protect the United States, but they’re kept waiting for months and months to receive the benefits they have earned and deserve,” said Congressman Huffman. “If I or my staff contacts the VA to assist a veteran in need, we should get a clear response. This amendment would ensure that we can help our constituents through the claims process.”

Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.