Representatives Kathleen Rice, Aumua Amata Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase VA Oversight
Legislation provides the VA Office of Inspector General with stronger mechanisms to detect and investigate waste, fraud, and abuse at the VA
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (NY-04) and Aumua Amata (American Samoa) have introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen oversight at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The Strengthening Oversight for Veterans Act of 2020 (H.R. 5843) would provide the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) with testimonial subpoena authority. Without testimonial subpoena authority, the current ability of VA OIG to conduct complete and thorough investigations is severely limited. The bill would allow the OIG to subpoena former VA employees, former contractor personnel, and other potentially relevant individuals, during VA OIG investigations. Granting VA OIG with this new authority will better protect America’s veterans and help ensure the VA is operating effectively, efficiently, and in their best interest.
“The VA Office of Inspector General provides critical oversight to make certain the VA is operating in the best interest of our nation’s veterans and taxpayers,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “In the event an investigation is needed, OIG should have every tool available to resolve the matter at hand. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with Congresswoman Aumua Amata that will help ensure our veterans always receive the quality care they deserve.”
“The principle is always how to best serve those who have served our country,” said Rep. Amata. “Sometimes in-depth investigations are required to ensure services are carried out as designed or funds go where Congress intended. That’s in the interest of veterans. Thank you to Rep. Rice for her leadership on this legislation, and we also look forward to working with the bipartisan Senate effort on these same practical priorities.”
Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Jon Tester (D-MT) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.