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Washington, D.C. – Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on passage of the bicameral Veterans Administration (VA) agreement:

“The Veterans Administration has failed in its responsibility to provide the health services promised to the men and women who have served our country selflessly and courageously. For years, this House has conducted oversight—including a GAO report that House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-01) and I requested after hearing directly from my own constituents about extended wait times. We discovered a deeply rooted culture of unaccountability and blatant disregard for our veterans in the VA that continues to this day.

“I thank my good friend Chairman Jeff Miller for his unwavering commitment to our veterans and for finding a solution that will begin the process of reforming and modernizing the VA. This agreement will provide our veterans the opportunity to seek care outside of the VA if they are unable to be seen at a VA facility within 30 days. It also gives significant relief to veterans living in rural America and greater than 40 miles from the closest VA facility by allowing them to seek outside care. This opportunity for our veterans to choose their health care is a significant change to the VA system, and passage of today’s agreement was a necessary and important step toward bringing the VA into the 21st Century.”