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POLITICS: PennAve

Lawmakers reach accord on Veterans Affairs bill

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Politics,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,Veterans Affairs,Health Care,PennAve,Veterans,Jeff Miller,Bernie Sanders

Lawmakers have reached a bipartisan deal on a bill help end long wait lists at medical facilities run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and his House counterpart, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fl., will announce the details of the agreement on Monday, aides said.

The accord ends weeks of negotiations between the House and Senate, which had struggled to combine separate bills aimed at reforming the VA.

And it comes just days after negotiations between the House and Senate appeared to have broken down.

Both parties were under intense pressure to pass a bill before Congress adjourns this week until September, so that the money can start easing the backlog of vets waiting for care.

“Miller and Sanders continued negotiations on a VA reform package this weekend and made significant progress toward an agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals,” a joint statement said.

Aides would not disclose the details of the deal, but it is likely to be a package that spends midway between Sanders’ latest proposal to spend $25 billion on the VA and Miller’s plan to spend just $10 billion.

Both proposals aimed to end long wait lists for veterans by allowing them to seek private care and to make other reforms within the VA, where officials were caught hiding long waiting lists and leaving vets without appointments months or even years.

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Susan Ferrechio

Chief Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

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