Chairman Miller Statement Regarding President’s SOTU Address
Chairman Jeff Miller released the below statement today ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“Veterans issues deserve more than just a passing reference during the upcoming State of the Union address, so I hope President Obama will take the opportunity to demonstrate a substantive commitment to providing the leadership that has so far been lacking at his Department of Veterans Affairs. VA’s widespread and systemic lack of accountability is exacerbating all of its most pressing problems, including the department’s stubborn disability benefits backlog, a mounting toll of preventable veteran deaths at VA medical centers across the country and VA’s continued inability to protect the personal info of America’s more than 20 million veterans. But the department is lacking more than just accountability. VA also refuses to engage in a constructive and honest conversation about its challenges, routinely ignoring media inquiries and slow rolling congressional requests for information, of which there are more than 100, some dating back more than a year. As commander-in-chief, President Obama is the only person in a position to hold VA leaders directly accountable, and his leadership and personal involvement is essential to ending the culture of complacency that is inhibiting VA’s ability to serve veterans and dragging the organization’s reputation through the mud. If President Obama and VA leaders refuse to instill a culture of accountability and transparency at VA, Congress will be forced to take legislative action.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs