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Focused on VA, Jeff Miller Not Leaving Congress Quietly

October 6, 2016 - 6:00am
Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller

While he might be leaving Congress in the coming weeks, U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., showed this week that he won’t go quietly.

Miller, the chairman of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, served notice to the Obama administration that he wasn’t happy with the way it was running the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

On Tuesday, Miller pointed to a report from the VA’s Inspector General noting that there are still continued problems in Phoenix, Arizona.  In early 2014, reports emerged that at least 40 veterans died in the Phoenix area while awaiting medical treatment and VA officials altered waiting lists to make it appear they would receive care in a more timely fashion. U.S. VA Sec. Eric Shinseki resigned under pressure as result of these reports. 

Miller noted the new Inspector General report found at least one veteran recently died while awaiting treatment in the Phoenix area as problems continue to linger. 

“More than two years after the Phoenix VA Health Care System became ground zero for VA’s wait-time scandal, many of its original problems remain, and this report is proof of that sad fact,” Miller said. “Although the report’s extensive use of confusing bureaucratic parlance makes digesting the IG’s findings a tedious chore, it’s clear veterans are still dying while waiting for care, that delays may have contributed to the recent death of at least one veteran and the work environment in Phoenix is marred by confusion and dysfunction. VA’s performance in Phoenix and across the nation will never improve until there are consequences up and down the chain of command for these and other persistent failures. Unfortunately, given that this report is largely devoid of clear lines of accountability to those responsible for Phoenix VAHCS’s current problems, it is unlikely these issues will be solved anytime soon.” 

Miller also slammed U.S. VA Sec. Robert McDonald for continued problems building a VA medical center in Denver, Colorado. 

Last year, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson told Colorado lawmakers a VA hospital in Aurora, near Denver, would cost $1.73 billion, far beyond its initial cost of $328 million. The hospital project languished for a decade and encountered numerous problems, including the contractor leaving at the end of 2014 after a federal appeals board ruled the VA's plans for the hospital could not be built for less than $600 million.

Miller has been vocal in his criticism of  the project, calling it the biggest construction failure in VA history and vowing to hold the departments feet to the fire. Early last month, Miller’s committee subpoenaed the VA. While the VA responded at the end of the month, Miller insisted it had failed to address most of the requested information. 

“As a taxpayer-funded organization, VA has a responsibility to explain its actions to Congress and the public,” Miller said on Monday. “Right now, it is failing in that responsibility. We simply will not tolerate VA’s attempts to keep information related to its wasteful art expenditures and the biggest construction failure in VA history shrouded in secrecy. Sec. McDonald must immediately comply with the terms of this subpoena.”  


As a tax-payer funded Congressman, Miller has a responsibility to explain to the American Public why he has held hostage HR-969 - the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange bill in committee while 336 Representatives are cosponsors. Who's pocket is he in? Hopefully he will be replaced by someone who cares about veterans.

Evaluation and recommendation of the Veterans Administration (VA) Charles Frederick Tolbert EdD retired Master Sergeant Candidate for United States Senator Florida 2016 Citizen For A Better America, Inc. Po Box 740025 Orange city florida 32774 Abstract: This is a study and review of United States Veterans Administration (VA), their policies and ability to care for our wounded soldiers. Charles Frederick Tolbert spent 22 years serving the United States of America and defending the Constitution and is now a retired Master Sergeant. Dr Tolbert has a Masters degree in theology and education and in 2010 he received his doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. After many negative experiences in 2004 with the veterans administration in Miami, Dr. Tolbert elected not to use the VA because of the spread of HIV, hepatitis, and delays in treatment in addition to the lack of proper medical care. In order to write this review he returned to the Veterans Administration in 2015. This paper will present the experiences he encountered over a six-month period. The formulation of ideas, presentations, delays, experiences and the impact of budget will be the main focus presented, to include conclusions and recommendations. Dr. Tolbert is a candidate for United States Senate for the state of Florida 2016 and it is his intent, should he be elected, to help correct the veteran’s administration's misuse of money and to expedite care and well-being for our defenders of America

Miller is "a day late and a dollar short"; the "VA debacle" occurred while he was the Chairman of the Congressional "Veterans Affairs Committee" (and Corrine Brownn was the ranking Democrat member). The "disgraceful debacle" is still not over, and continuing to go on to this very day with veterans STILL suffering and dying because of hospital mismanagement. To these two self-interested Congressional Representatives, I say "GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD GARBAGE !" (and may the rest of that Committee's flawed members suffer the same fate ASAP ! ) signed// "a disgusted Veteran"


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