Shaheen’s Legislation to Spur Accountability at the VA Passes Senate as Part of Funding Bill

Following Reports of Continued Mismanagement at VA hospitals, Shaheen Amendment Would Require Random Audits

November 10, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Today, the United States Senate passed an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) that requires random, outside auditing of VA medical facilities by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The amendment is included in legislation to fund the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“This is about changing the culture at the VA,” said Shaheen. “Veterans should be receiving quality, timely care from the VA. My amendment will shed a light on troubling mismanagement at certain VA facilities, and complements the reform efforts that have already been put in place. It’s fitting that the bill that funds the VA passed with this accountability measure included.”

Shaheen’s amendment was added to the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill by a voice vote on Monday evening. The amendment is based on legislation Shaheen introduced last week and requires the GAO to perform random, periodic audits to ensure that veterans receive timely access to medical care. This follows recent reports that, despite reform efforts, certain VA medical facilities are still engaging in mismanagement that is delaying care and endangering the lives of veterans.

Senator Shaheen introduced several legislative proposals last year that were signed into law as part of larger bipartisan VA reform legislation, including a requirement to remedy delays in care for veterans. Senator Shaheen is also a co-sponsor of Senator Richard Blumenthal’s (D-CT) bill (S.1856) allowing the VA to remove or suspend employees for poor performance, misconduct, or interfering with public health or safety.

Text of the amendment is available here.