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Topics: Veterans Affairs

VIDEO: Bernie Sanders and Jeff Miller unveil Veterans Affairs plan

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Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced a $17 billion agreement to reform the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs.

"It goes without saying we have a VA that is in crisis today," Miller said Monday.

"This bill makes certain that we address the immediate crisis of veterans being forced onto long waiting lines for health care," said Sanders.

This bill also gives power to the VA secretary to fire any senior official who is underperforming, dishonest or incompetent.

Included in the $17 billion deal is $5 billion earmarked for hiring new doctors and nurses into the VA health care system and $10 billion for veterans to seek care from non-VA providers if they don't live close to facilities.

"The United States Congress today is, in my view, a dysfunctional institution," Sanders said on Capitol Hill on Monday. "So rather than go through why we didn't do this a month ago and get it done, the important point is we are here together having done something that happens rarely in the United States Congress."

Both the House and Senate need to pass this new legislation — and there's only a few days left before their five-week summer recess.

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