O'Halleran Co-sponsors the Bipartisan Phoenix VA Congressional Oversight Act

February 21, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Tom O'Halleran joined the entire U.S. House delegation from Arizona to co-sponsor Congressman Andy Biggs' Phoenix VA Congressional Oversight Act, which authorizes a pilot program to improve constituent services in Arizona. 

“Almost five years removed from a horrific scandal, the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS) is still one of the most-poorly run VA facilities in the country. Congress has worked diligently to bring accountability to the VA, but my constituents still encounter the same bureaucratic challenges they faced throughout the previous administration, including the struggles to receive proper medical treatment and obtain timely doctor appointments. 

“The health and wellbeing of returning servicemembers and veterans should be a priority for this Congress, but unfortunately, those receiving care at the Phoenix VA Health Care System do not always get the treatment they deserve. We have an obligation to provide oversight of the VA to ensure the care improves, and this bipartisan legislation will allow us to do that. I am proud to join the entire delegation on this bill.” – Congressman Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01)

“The ‘Phoenix VA Congressional Oversight Act’ addresses the challenges that are still impeding progress at the PVAHCS. My bill establishes a dedicated, full-time congressional relations team within the PVAHCS, allows Members of Congress to provide veterans services inside the PVAHCS, and requires a report from the VA Secretary on the findings of the pilot program, including whether the program should be expanded to other regions in the country. 

“This bill helps expedite veterans’ casework, reduce bureaucratic mismanagement, and enhance oversight and accountability. This is a small, but necessary step in our efforts to help our veterans receive the care that they deserve. I thank my colleagues for supporting this legislation. We are working across party lines to keep our promises to our veterans.” – Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

“One of my top priorities is ensuring our veterans receive the best care and that their casework needs are met. I’m proud to support the Phoenix VA Oversight Act with my Arizona colleagues, it will help alleviate bureaucratic inefficiencies and help Members of Congress and their staff better support the needs of our veteran communities.” – Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)

“Pilot programs pave the way for long-term effective policies. Facilitating greater contact between that VA and congressional offices is critical to ensuring exemplary services—especially when it comes to a population like our veterans who need timely care.” – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03)

“The Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS) was at the epicenter of the VA waiting list scandal. Veterans were put on fake waiting lists so bonuses and performance goals could be met. This legislation is the beginning of improvements at the PVAHCS. I look forward to working with the Arizona delegation and the VA to ensure the Phoenix VA Health Care System becomes the new model for all VA healthcare systems to follow.” – U.S. Representative Paul Gosar, D.D.S (AZ-04)

“I am pleased to see Arizona continue to be a leader for forward-thinking projects. By creating a pilot program for a congressional relations team at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Arizona is taking another step in the right direction to best support our veterans in a timely manner.” – Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06)

“As Members of Congress, we must do everything in our power to ensure veterans get the care and benefits they have earned. I’m proud to support this legislation that will allow my staff to provide enhanced support to our deserving constituents.” – Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07)

“In 2014, the Phoenix VA Health Care System made national headlines due to a scandal of misconduct and mismanagement. And while good work is being done to improve the Phoenix VA System, our veterans must always come first. With more than 70,000 veterans in the 8th District, I am committed to ensuring Arizona’s veterans receive the quality care they have earned and deserve by increasing oversight and transparency at the Phoenix VA.” – Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08)