Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) reinforced her opposition to reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs on Saturday, calling it a "myth" that the system was broken and in need of reform.
Ocasio-Cortez pledged at a town hall a week ago that she would fight bipartisan efforts to reform the scandal-plagued VA health system.
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"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," she said in remarks reported on by the Washington Free Beacon last week. "The idea that this thing that isn't broken, this thing that provides the highest quality care to our veterans somehow needs to be fixed, optimized, tinkered with until you don't even recognize it anymore."
Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged the criticism her opposition to VA reform had received, but doubled down on her defense of the status quo at the agency, according to video of the Queens town hall captured by America Rising.
"You might have heard Fox News talking about it," Ocasio-Cortez said, "because there is a myth that all VAs everywhere are broken."
The freshman congresswoman said the goal is to "starve" the agency of funding.
"If we can starve them of budgets and make sure they can't do their job, then we can say the whole system should be thrown away," she said at the Queens town hall. "I'm not going to back down from protecting the VA."
VA reform legislation passed through both chambers of Congress with large majorities last year, before Ocasio-Cortez was a member. The reform was aimed at giving veterans more flexibility in their health care decisions.
The agency came under increased scrutiny during the Obama administration when a large number of veterans died while waiting for care.