Lawmakers Want Progress on Veterans’ Claims

A bipartisan group of 26 lawmakers, all military veterans, sent a letter to President Obama urging reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The April 25 missive calls on Obama to “publicly acknowledge the problems within VA and the necessity for reforms and leadership that are capable of alleviating the claims backlog and improving the benefit delivery system.” While other federal departments have seen recent budget reductions, VA has received $25 billion in additional funding since 2009, including $500 million to migrate its claims process online, they wrote. Yet, there is still a backlog of nearly 900,000 unprocessed claims, and that number “expected to rise to a staggering one million in the near future,” states the letter. “As Commander in Chief,” they urged Obama to “take a strong position in support of America’s veterans” and use his “influence and authority to ensure VA fulfills its duty and obligation to those who have served and sacrificed.”