Issues

Ellison Barber Predicts Easy Passage of VA Overhaul Bill

The Washington Free Beacon’s Ellison Barber discussed on Fox News the impending VA Overhaul Bill and the status of President Obama’s nominee, Robert McDonald, to head the VA.

Barber said both sides of the aisle have experienced significant pressure from constituents and veterans alike to pass a bill to reform the VA. The bill "tackles the two biggest issues that we saw come out of the Veterans Affairs scandals in that it deals with accountability as well as the wait time for veterans," she explained on Happening Now Tuesday.

She added that the general consensus of the bill is a feeling of satisfaction by lawmakers.

Under the new bill, if veterans have been waiting for care or treatment for more than 30 days or if they live more than 40 miles from a Veterans facility, they will receive a "Veterans Choice Card," which will allow them to visit a non-VA provider. The bill will also permit the Secretary to fire senior officials who are not performing to their fullest capacity or lying. Such terminated employees will be suspended without pay for 21 days, during which they have the option to appeal their termination.

Lawmakers hope to give the bill to President Obama before the upcoming August recess.

Asked by host Jon Scott if Robert McDonald, President Obama’s nominee to head the VA, will be confirmed, Barber said it is likely he will be.