Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 4, 2015

Sanders Negotiating for Bipartisan VA Bill

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said he hopes to craft a bipartisan compromise to address to the lengthy wait times at VA hospitals.

“We are working on an agreement,” Sanders said.

He added that a committee hearing on the issue scheduled for Thursday was postponed, in part, to give more time for negotiations. Senate Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, unveiled their own VA plan Tuesday.

“I think what the hearing was about was to hear my proposal, to hear McCain’s proposal, if we could work out an agreement I think that we could expedite a situation that needs an expeditious resolution,” Sanders said.

Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., the ranking member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, was hopeful a deal could be reached as soon as Wednesday.

“I think the longer [the negotiations go] the less likely it is” a deal will be struck, Burr said.

A senior Senate Republican aide said these talks are the more likely course for a solution, rather than a deal proposed Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for a vote on a House-passed veterans bill in exchange for allowing a vote on Sanders’ bill.

Reid said Tuesday he doesn’t object too strenuously to the House-passed bill, despite concerns over the lack of due process safeguards. That proposal would give the VA secretary authority to immediately fire VA senior executives based on performance.

But in order to speed the process, Reid’s deal precluded the offering of any amendments, something Republicans were unlikely to agree to.

The Vermont independent’s package would authorize 27 new VA medical facilities and the hiring of doctors and nurses to reduce wait times, among numerous other steps.

McCain’s proposal would allow veterans to seek medical care outside of VA centers and also implement systemic changes to the VA. It also includes the House-passed measure. The proposal requires to the VA secretary to establish penalties and procedures for employees who falsify data, modify performance plans and consider outside reviews.

“The issue is waiting times, the issue is how do we make sure that every veteran in this country can get into a VA facility in a reasonable period of time,” Sanders said. “And if they can’t what do they do, do they go to private doctors, can they go to other medical providers; we’ve go to work out the details. There are other issues as well.”

If an agreement is reached soon action this week will be difficult, as about a dozen senators are headed to Normandy Thursday for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Comments (27)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. ShadrachSmith

    June 5, 2014
    12:21 p.m.

    The unsolvable problem with government health care is that every entrenched government bureaucracy’s primary mission is treating its bureaucrats well. The theoretical mission – health care or whatever – falls from the daily concerns of those in charge. Remember Jeff Neely’s famous bathtub picture? That is a good visual metaphor for the biggest problem with all bureaucracies.

  2. Angel Perea

    June 5, 2014
    5:17 p.m.

    KEEPING IT THOUGHTFULLY HONEST: There they go again with continuing cold war of politics! The President and his Military leaders said freeing U.S. soldiers from enemy captivity is our priority or any captured American soldier. We don’t leave our own behind! But why we expect these chicken hawk cowards that never served to understand this concept? The record shows that Republicans are only interested being obstructive and or politically disagreeable regardless of any decision this President makes. If Putin or Assad wanted to trade for one of their war prisoner for one of our captured American soldiers, these hypocrites would find or create an argument to support Putin or Assad against our President regardless of cost or consequences. Amnesty4Snowden on a veteran’s plea that served and came back home, In response to these political cowards,: “On one hand you say both sides are equally corrupt – then in the next breath you decry the way congress treated veterans. If you look at the vote it is clear which side of the isle supports vets and which side does not!” So we must ask about the 1.7 million Americans including over 20,000 veterans lost their nemployment benefits when the republicans in Congress failed to act last December. Sadly over 3,000 more veterans will lose their benefit every month that politicians in Washington deny them a vote. So let’s give credit where it is due: The 41 flag waving senate republicans with their tea party clowns in Congress and chicken hawks that have never served are now voicing to obstruct the return of a captured American soldier just like they had NO problem voting to obstruct Senator Bernie Sanders Vets legislation that was supported numerous Vets organizations! Now I find it remarkable that anyone thinks that Americans will re-elect these same hypocrites for not taking care of our War veterans or now creating a controversy to recover Bergdahl.

  3. Haymitch Abernathy

    June 6, 2014
    10:57 p.m.

    Certainly, the simple freedom to vote one’s self into servitude, thus giving up liberty, is not liberty at all.

  4. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:25 a.m.

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100 positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:21 a.m.

    I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for posting.

  6. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    12:09 a.m.

    Good ?V I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task..

  7. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    6:36 a.m.

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  8. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    9:48 a.m.

    Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog website? The account helped me a applicable deal. I were a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered shiny clear idea

  9. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    7:25 p.m.

    It is truly a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    2:28 p.m.

    I do love the manner in which you have framed this particular matter and it really does offer us some fodder for thought. Nonetheless, because of everything that I have seen, I just simply wish as the remarks pile on that people today continue to be on point and don’t get started upon a tirade associated with some other news du jour. Still, thank you for this fantastic piece and although I do not really concur with the idea in totality, I respect the viewpoint.

  11. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    4:17 a.m.

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the issue is one thing that not sufficient individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing referring to this.

  12. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    2:23 p.m.

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …

  13. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    8:25 a.m.

    Good write-up, I?¦m regular visitor of one?¦s web site, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  14. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    7:50 a.m.

    This is really fascinating, You’re an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to searching for extra of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  15. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    9:54 a.m.

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was once a entertainment account it. Look complex to far introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep in touch?

  16. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    4:15 a.m.

    Great line up. We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  17. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    8:42 p.m.

    Great write-up, I’m regular visitor of one’s site, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  18. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    7:52 p.m.

    Great website. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you for your sweat!

  19. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    6:35 a.m.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  20. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    5:53 a.m.

    Merely wanna state that this is handy, Thanks for taking your time to write this.

  21. state auto insurance quote

    Sept. 20, 2015
    5 p.m.

    Its good idea to share such info with us. We need more such useful information.

  22. amica mutual insurance

    Sept. 21, 2015
    4:35 p.m.

    Thanks for the best info posted here.. Just waiting for update.

  23. amax insurance cedar hill tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:55 p.m.

    Try discounts up to 40% on auto or home insurance.

  24. Anonymous

    Sept. 22, 2015
    8:40 p.m.

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  25. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    3:17 p.m.

    I consider something genuinely special in this web site.

  26. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    9:03 a.m.

    I have recently started a site, the info you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  27. cheap house insirance

    Sept. 28, 2015
    12:04 p.m.

    Get free quotes on car insurance by zip code over the USA!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...