Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act Squanders Millions

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Photo: John Krause for Congress

PENSACOLA, Fla., Aug. 4, 2014 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act squanders millions on bonuses and "consultant" handouts and pushes serious issues off until after elections, says Republican Florida District 1 Congressional candidate John Krause.

"Poor leadership and nonexistent oversight allowed veterans issues to worsen for years. They won't be fixed with election-year patches," says Krause. "From what we're seeing, incumbent politicians have done the bare minimum to carry them through election season. They're calling this emergency funding. Guess what - they created this emergency to begin with.

"What happens when new veterans end up in the same boat next year? How can we trust Congress to do the right thing when they let it slide this long?"

Krause criticized the bill for authorizing millions in Federal employee bonuses and unspecified "consultant" contract payouts, including:

* A $360 million PER YEAR authorization for Veterans Administration bonuses.

* A private consultant contract with an unspecified payout ceiling to report on VA processes.

* A paid Committee who will receive Federal executive pay and select their own employees without going through Federal qualification processes; who will also receive Federal executive pay.

* An unpaid study by a specific technology industry advocacy group to gauge whether the VA should buy "off the shelf" technology products.

"Why is any government employee who already gets excellent tax-subsidized benefits getting a bonus to do their job?" Krause stated. "People in the private sector aren't getting bonuses during a depression."

Krause questioned the bill's hidden, non-care related expenses.

"This new Committee and the consulting contract - where's the money coming from for those?" Krause asks. "I'll tell you where - from regular VA funding.

"These handouts will cost millions that could be going towards veterans," he predicted. "Why do we employ thousands of Federal Service Resource Management personnel if we're going to be contracting studies out?

"And why do we need another paid committee to oversee the VA? We already have a paid Committee who aren't doing their jobs. It's called Congress. Now they're handing out millions in Executive salaries for yet another layer of bureaucracy to do their work for them? This committee is supposed to last 7 months: what are the odds it's extended to a long-term jobs program for special friends and relatives?"

The bill's detailed consultant and committee qualification requirements suggest preselected candidates, says Krause.

"This sounds like they already have political donor friends in mind. That's more handouts to cronies cutting into money that could go for medical care. I've seen at least one guy who the VA won't pay for a leg replacement. But they have millions for their consultant friends? They're letting an industry group decide whether taxpayers need to buy industry products? It's deplorable business as usual."

Private hospital funding should be the priority, says Krause.

"What happens when they run out of money for private care?" Krause says. "That's the greatest need and that's the most bangs for the buck. Why not just put funding towards care and treatment in private hospitals instead of VA payroll?"

John Krause for Congress website:


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REFERENCES: John Krause for Congress, VA funding, VA funding, Florida District 1 Congressional candidate, Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, news, press release from John Krause, Aug 4, 2014, Elections and Politics, Health, Military, Pensacola, Florida, Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act Squanders Millions