(Washington, DC) -- A deal is being struck to reform the embattled Veterans Affairs Department. Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders called it a compromise effort aimed at reducing unacceptably long wait times for vets at VA health clinics. Sanders chairs the Senate Veterans Committee. In a Capitol news briefing, Sanders said a proposed bill would give many vets the option of seeking care outside the VA system.
The legislation also provides money to hire more doctors and nurses and expand VA facilities. Florida Republican Congressman Jeff Miller said the bill specifies greater accountability. One provision expedites procedures to fire incompetent or corrupt VA employees. Miller chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Prodding fellow lawmakers, Senator Sanders called passage of the Veterans bill a moral responsibility.