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Posts in "Veterans"
August 13, 2014
When Iraq popped up this week as an issue in the Iowa Senate race between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst based on her comments about troop levels in recent years, it marked something rare: an occasion where a national security debate surfaced in the 2014 elections for purely national security reasons.
Despite a whole host of places around the globe where security is a rising topic in the news — Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Russia — defense and foreign policy has largely been on the sidelines in congressional races. Even when it has been debated, it has usually been for other reasons, such as how it reflects on President Barack Obama’s performance. But because of that, and more, national security could still play a role in the 2014 elections.
July 28, 2014
With the United States-Africa Leaders Summit starting Aug. 4, there is a preponderance of events about the continent this week in advance. President Barack Obama himself will kick off some of the pre-Summit activities. Africa has been a growing national security concern, given events in Nigeria, Libya and elsewhere.
It’s also the last week Congress is in town for a while. The schedule is a bit ambiguous, but before everyone leaves, there could be action at various levels on a new secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs; legislation addressing the VA’s health care backlog; a bill overhauling the National Security Agency’s bulk record collection programs; and declassification of a report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation and detention practices under President George W. Bush. Full story
July 22, 2014
July 17, 2014
Each war brings with it unique injuries and health afflictions for those who fight. For Iraq and Afghanistan, improvised explosive devices have led to extensive traumatic brain injuries and loss of limbs.
But those wounds aren’t the beginning and end of the kind of health problems this generation of the military is facing. Among those singled out by a Senate report: skin cancer, epilepsy, sleep disorders, hydrocephalus and chronic pain disorders. Full story
July 14, 2014
There are three hearings this week on the president’s war-related spending account budget request and two committee votes on the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. But, yes, killer robots and outer space are also on the agenda. Full story
July 7, 2014
Congress is back in town after the July Fourth holiday, and not entirely coincidentally there’s a great deal of Afghanistan on the schedule this week, from nominations to hearings to events off the Hill. Full story
June 30, 2014
The Hobby Lobby decision wasn’t the only call the Supreme Court made Monday on a religion-related case. The top court in the land also decided to stay out of a long-running dispute over a 43-foot cross on Department of Defense-controlled land — at least, for now. Full story
June 23, 2014
The schedule is too jam-packed to just highlight one or two events each day. Full story
June 17, 2014
Friday’s hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on bonuses at the Department of Veterans Affairs just got some ammunition in the form of the Arizona Republic‘s story Monday evening that the Phoenix VA Health Care System paid $10 million in bonuses over the last three years, which coincides with when staffers were manipulating patient wait records. Full story
June 15, 2014
Anyone who wanted to could visit multiple congressional hearings or think tank events related to Iraq, Afghanistan or both every day this week. The headline event? House floor consideration of the annual defense spending bill. Oh, and on Friday, President Barack Obama meets with the prime minister of New Zealand, land of Flight of the Conchords, although they’re not expected to join forces with the United States on … Iraq. Full story
June 10, 2014
Only last month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s super-advanced robotic arm won approval from the Food and Drug Administration. But a House report released this week asks the Pentagon’s futuristic R&D division to go one step backward: figuring out how not to amputate at all. Full story
June 9, 2014
It will be another busy week on Capitol Hill for the defense world: The House Appropriations Committee takes up the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill, and veterans will again be at the forefront as the Senate is likely to give floor consideration to a bill written in response to the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, while two committees will examine the Bowe Berdahl prisoner trade. But around Washington, D.C., there are plenty of other events on the calendar.
June 6, 2014
Republicans in Congress, and even some Democrats, have heard the Obama administration’s explanation for why it didn’t need to notify Congress 30 days in advance of the Guantánamo Bay Taliban prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl and found it lacking. The Senate Armed Services Committee has a briefing this coming Tuesday, and the House panel has a hearing the next day.
But what do the legal experts say?
June 3, 2014
The Department of Veterans Affairs is already in plenty of hot water over its patient backlog, and a Government Accountability Office report released this week on a similar brand of mismanagement elsewhere in the department isn’t going to help turn down the temperature.
The GAO report on department management of leasing for outpatient clinics was overshadowed by the department’s other woes, but found some significant problems. Of the 41 projects the GAO examined, 39 were behind schedule — one of them by more than 13 years.