U.S. Rep. Martha Roby said Thursday that Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald and the Obama administration “need to spend less time on political posturing and more time correcting the ongoing mismanagement of VA health care systems.”
Roby, a Republican who represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, in a news release cited a recent memo Jan R. Frye reported in The Washington Post that portrayed an atmosphere of “lawlessness and chaos” surrounding the VA.
Frye wrote in a memo addressed to McDonald that about $6 billion of taxpayer money was lost to what Roby called on Thursday “waste, fraud and abuse.”
Roby also teed off on what her office called “independently refuted” accusations from President Barack Obama that recent problems with the Veterans’ Administration — a problem especially acute in parts of Roby’s district, which includes the Wiregrass region as well as parts of metropolitan Montgomery — stemmed from budget cuts pushed by the GOP-led House of Representatives in her statement, below:
“While Secretary McDonald was falsely accusing House Republicans of cutting funding for VA healthcare, his department was responsible for billions in waste, fraud and abuse.
“While President Obama was threatening to veto our appropriations bill over $1.4 billion in funding, the VA was blowing through four times that annually in misspent funds.
“I have been told by senior VA officials in no uncertain terms that problems at systems like the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System are ‘not about money.’ Today’s report further demonstrates that the rhetoric from the White House and Secretary McDonald was absurd, insulting and shameless.
“They need to spend less time on political posturing and more time correcting the ongoing mismanagement of VA health care systems that is preventing our veterans from receiving timely, quality care.”
Roby said in a news release she is preparing to advance legislation that would compel the VA Secretary to take over VA systems that perennially fail to meet certain standards.