Our nation’s veterans deserve nothing but the very best. That’s why I’m deeply troubled by the reported misconduct at Veterans Affairs health centers across the country. No heroes who bravely fought for our nation should lose their lives at the hands of those now supposed to be taking care of them.
I’m pleased that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently heeded my call to open a criminal investigation into misconduct at VA centers across the country. We must hold accountable those responsible for any crimes committed against our veterans.
I have also proactively taken steps to better support our veterans. I was proud to support the bipartisan Veterans Access to Care Act to help ensure all veterans get the care they deserve and earned by expanding veterans’ ability to seek care at non-VA facilities under certain conditions, strengthen Congress’ oversight of the VA, and eliminate performance-related bonuses for VA employees.
I continue to be in regular contact with the VA health systems’ directors who serve our region and with local veterans to hear about their experiences with the VA firsthand. I recently stopped by the Galesburg VA Clinic unannounced to learn about the situation firsthand. I will be continuing my aggressive oversight of and engagement with the hospital systems that serve veterans.
In my short time in office, I’ve made veterans a priority, not only in Washington, but with the day-to-day service we give to our constituents here in Illinois. My office recently hosted a veterans’ benefits workshop to connect veterans with expert caseworkers from the VA and other organizations that serve the heroes in our communities.
If you know of any veterans who may need assistance, please encourage them to contact any of my offices.
My staff and I are honored to serve those who served our country.
Note to readers: Cheri Bustos represents the 17th Congressional District, which includes Whiteside and Carroll counties.