Arizona congressman introduces federal bill to reform Phoenix VA
PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman has introduced legislation to reform the Phoenix Veterans Affairs office at the federal level.
The Phoenix VA Congressional Oversight Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, would direct VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to launch a pilot program that would improve lawmakers’ ability to assist their constituents.
“We’re doing better, but it’s still a one-star facility,” Biggs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday. “Something still has to happen.”
The pilot program would include allowing lawmakers to assist with casework inside the facility. The bill would also require Wilkie to submit a report to the House VA committee on the effectiveness of the pilot program two years after the bill is enacted and whether it should be expanded.
Biggs said that the bill would expedite veterans’ paperwork and reduce bureaucratic mismanagement by providing a dedicated office within the VA to “deal with casework that is flowing through congressional offices.
“People shouldn’t have to go to their congressman to have issues resolved in the VA,” Biggs said.
“We’re making changes, but it’s going slowly. There are some serious issues that need to be addressed.”