Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Brooks pursues improved operations at federal VA medical facilities

Feb 21, 2019
In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan bill to improve the physical security at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities, among several provisions.

Rep. Brooks on Feb. 8 was an original cosponsor of the Accountability for Quality VA Healthcare Act, H.R. 1125, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA). The colleagues are co-chairs of the Bipartisan Working Group, an organization of members from both political parties who seek to find solutions to mutually identified policy issues.

“Supporting our nation’s both male and female veterans and working to ensure they receive better access to the services and care they’ve earned is a priority on both sides of the aisle,” Rep. Brooks said on Tuesday. “I’m proud the Bipartisan Working Group is dedicated to solving problems together and providing our veterans with the care they deserve.”

H.R. 1125, she said, is derived from a series of Government Accountability Office (GAO) studies that found problems at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and provided solutions for how the VA could rectify them. To date, however, the VA hasn’t fully implemented hundreds of the GAO’s recommendations for improving access to care and management of VHA facilities, the congresswoman said.

If enacted, H.R. 1125 would require the VA to implement several of the GAO’s highest-priority recommendations, according to a summary of the bill provided by Rep. Brooks’ office.

For example, the bill would establish a pilot project to improve security at VHA facilities; would create an updated handbook on best practices; would ensure through VHA inspections of medical facilities that necessary medical supplies and equipment for women are on hand; and would establish an annual report on whether the VHA is hiring and retaining an ample number of qualified nurses, according to the summary.

“The Accountability for Quality VA Healthcare Act works to improve the VA’s broken system so that we can better serve our veterans,” Rep. Kilmer said. “We owe it to those who have served our nation to not let partisanship or gridlock get in the way of providing veterans the care they have earned.” 

H.R. 1125 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.