One of the more disappointing failures of our federal government is the absolutely atrocious manner in which the Department of Veterans Affairs is mismanaged, often leaving the men and women who sacrificed for the nation on their own and without the help they need and were promised.
President-elect Donald Trump vowed repeatedly during his campaign to take better care of veterans by fixing the VA as part of his effort to “drain the swamp” in D.C., and it appears as though Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has decided to get a head start on forcing the agency to begin making changes for the better.
At least that was the message put forward by Ryan Friday morning as he announced legislation, H.R. 5392, that would overhaul the troubled VA hotline system.
This legislation “requires that the VA respond to calls to its crisis hotlines in a timely manner. This is one of those bills that should not even be necessary, but sadly and tragically it is,” said Ryan.
“Earlier this year we learned that more than one out of three calls to the VA crisis hotline were going unanswered,” he continued. “Imagine a veteran calling for help and being sent to voicemail. There’s no excuse for that.”
“This bill, authored by our colleague David Young, requires that the VA make improvements so that veterans actually get the help when they need the help,” explained Ryan. “As part of our ‘Better Way’ agenda we propose building a truly 21st century VA, and this will be a priority of a new unified Republican government.”
“But for now, this initiative is good news ahead of Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful for all the men and women who have fought for us,” he added.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 18, 2016
This is indeed good news, long overdue as it may be.
Hopefully this is just the first of many steps in the right direction of completely overhauling and rebuilding for the better a shockingly terrible and at times criminally negligent federal agency.
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