Ernst continues call for permanent VA watchdog

Joni Ernst -- CROPPEDFrom Press Release


In a letter to President Obama today, U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John McCain (R-AZ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), renewed their call for him to immediately nominate an Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Today’s letter follows a July 25 letter from the senators that also called for the president to act on a nomination. There has been no permanent IG at VA for more than 600 days, despite ongoing reports of mismanagement at the department following last year’s waitlist scandal.

“This position is necessary to establish proper oversight and accountability at VA, as well as to start rebuilding the lack of confidence too many Americans have in the Department.  This is especially important given the recently released VA Office of Inspector General report showing systemic mismanagement, including the 307,000 veterans who died while waiting to be enrolled for health care from the Department,” wrote the Senators.

“A permanent watchdog is needed to conduct thorough oversight and correct this troubling pattern of behavior.  As such, we urge you to ensure that oversight of VA is prioritized by nominating a permanent IG as soon as possible,” the Senators continued.

The Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency is responsible for submitting recommendations of individuals for consideration by the president when an IG vacancy occurs, and has made recommendations to the administration for individuals to serve as VA IG. But the president has not yet made a nomination to fill this crucial post.