McNerney blasts VA bonus

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, today blasted the federal administration for paying bonuses to Department of Veterans Affairs managers. Associated Press reported the story this morning.

Here’s what McNerney said in a prepared release:

“I was outraged to read in an Associated Press story this morning that the Veterans Administration official who oversees the VA’s disability claims system received a $33,000 bonus. The VA has a serious backlog of cases and delays averaging 177 days in getting benefits to injured veterans.

“At a time when our men and women serving overseas are beginning to return home and enter the VA system with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, it is unacceptable that the official in charge of a backlogged system would receive such a hefty bonus.

“This Congress has committed to ensuring our veterans receive high quality treatment when they return home from service overseas. And we’ve followed through, ensuring billions of additional dollars for VA services. Those additional funds are meant to be used to treat our veterans, not to reward those in charge of a system that needs fixing.

“Our veterans deserve our utmost respect when they return home. And their families deserve better than the lengthy bureaucratic maze they must currently navigate to ensure treatment for their loved ones. With a backlogged care system that even VA Secretary Jim Nicholson acknowledges is unacceptable, it is simply outrageous that an official in charge would receive a bonus.”

Lisa Vorderbrueggen