U.S. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler | E-Newsletter
District Update | May 5, 2015
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U.S. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler
Tackling Wait Times for Veteran Care

Last year, the public was given shocking reports that the VA had been manipulating wait times, falsifying data, and mismanaging its facilities. Our veteran heroes were the victims. Too many retired service members were being forced to wait long periods of time just to see a doctor. Some even lost their lives, while a system created to care for them was in a state of disarray.
 
Despite Congress taking action by quickly passing the Veterans Choice Act that included important accountability reforms and increased funding, we’re learning that Southwest Washington veterans are still waiting too long to get health care appointments. A long wait jeopardizes the quality and continuity of care they receive. These excessive wait times are affecting 7,700 veterans receiving care at the Vancouver and the Portland VA Medical Centers. I’m pushing the VA to fix the root problems.

Last week, the U.S. House approved my bipartisan legislative order to tackle the high VA staff turnover rate contributing to 30-plus days wait for veterans seeking health care appointments. The VA is directed to collect data on the reasons medical providers choose to leave the VA system, and to describe how VA plans to address and mitigate the major factors causing providers to depart.

It’s imperative the VA implements real solutions to recruit and retain staff who can provide the care our nation’s heroes deserve. Click here to read more.

A responsible spending plan for Hanford cleanup, water infrastructure
The U.S. House of Representatives approved its Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would fund Columbia River maintenance, small port dredging and Hanford cleanup – all while saving $633 billion from the President’s spending proposal. Our local economy relies on these waterways, and it is essential that our tax dollars are carefully spent to ensure economic growth in our community. As a member of the congressional committee that crafts this plan, I worked to ensure this responsible spending plan included Southwest Washington’s priorities.
To learn more about this legislation click here.
Grants for communities deemed "too affluent"

In an October meeting with Lewis County mayors, my office learned that communities like Toledo, Vader and Pe Ell were suddenly being considered "too affluent" to receive Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). I worked with the Washington Department of Commerce, HUD and Southwest Washington’s affected municipalities in search of immediate relief for individual communities. However, a long term solution is still needed for any future grants.

Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) joined me in a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office asking for better data that more accurately reflects the economic realities of our communities.

Efforts like these development grants are in place to help struggling communities like Vader, Pe Ell and Toledo with critical projects, but if the communities these programs are intended for are being excluded based on bad data, the federal government has a responsibility to fix the problem. This appears to be a huge issue not only for towns in our region, but likely around the country. I’m going to continue pressing for solutions. Click here to read more.


TOP NEWS
(VIDEO) Fox and Friends: The ACE Kids Act
WATCH VIDEO HERE

COLUMBIAN: Herrera Beutler order examines VA turnover
READ MORE HERE

CHRONICLE:
Congresswoman Asks for Changes to System That Found Toledo, Vader and Pe Ell ‘Too Affluent’ for Grants
READ MORE HERE

LONGVIEW DAILY NEWS: Federal money secured for Columbia River jetties, dredging
READ MORE HERE

Congratulations to Hudson's Bay High School!
Congratulations to the Vancouver Hudson's Bay High School winners of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow challenge. Their project? Disposing of their school's paper waste using mushrooms!
Washington, DC Office
1130 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3536
Fax: (202) 225-3478
Vancouver Office
O.O. Howard House (Officers' Row)
750 Anderson Street, Suite B
Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone: (360) 695-6292
Fax: (360) 695-6197
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