Sarbanes Statement on the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act (H.R. 5620)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today after voting against H.R. 5620, the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act:
“Our veterans have made every sacrifice for our country, and it’s our duty to provide them with the benefits they have earned. That’s why I am extremely disappointed that House Republicans have chosen to inject ideological attacks on federal workers into what could otherwise be a bipartisan effort to improve the VA claims process.
“The Republican bill would encourage the firing of VA workers – many of whom reside in Maryland and one-third of whom are veterans themselves – without cause or due process.
“Instead of pursuing ideological attacks on the federal workforce, Republicans should work together with Democrats to pass legislation that eliminates the massive backlog in VA appeals. A place to start would be H.R. 5083, a bipartisan bill that I’ve co-sponsored and that’s been crafted with input from the VA and from veteran service organizations like the VFW and American Legion. The bill would go a long way toward improving veterans’ health care by providing veterans with greater flexibility in the VA appeals process and no longer imposing a one-size-fits-all approach.”