VA scandal touches a nerve

As a reporter, you can always tell when a story takes another step forward because listeners and readers begin getting in touch with you to either tell their stories or to offer up insights of their own. And that’s where we seem to have arrived with questions about the Department …

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Whistleblowers rap VA’s “culture of corruption”

In a hearing that stretched until almost 1 am, it was a familiar story line before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Monday night – but from a different part of the VA – as another panel of whistleblowers detailed how they raised questions about troubles inside the agency, only …

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New charges of VA data manipulation

Internal investigators at the Department of Veterans Affairs have told Congress that some VA workers were “cooking the books” on benefit claims by veterans to make it look like the work was being done in a more timely fashion, much like earlier charges that VA schedulers were changing dates to …

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Congress grapples with Obama border plan

As top Obama Administration officials presented their arguments for a $3.7 billion plan to deal with a surge of kids coming over the border into the United States, there was evidence both of tough sledding ahead for the White House and maybe also the seeds of a deal to approve …

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Feds wrongly paid out $106 billion in 2013

In the bureaucratic lexicon of Washington, D.C., they are known as “improper payments,” where Uncle Sam wrongly pays out billions of dollars each year. On Wednesday, a House committee was told that those payments totaled almost $106 billion in 2013.

“Actually, it’s over $100 billion each of the last five …

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Whistleblowers paint dark picture of VA

In a hearing that stretched to midnight Tuesday night, the VA faced more bipartisan Congressional criticism as a group of four whistleblowers detailed how they spoke up about internal problems only to be subjected to personal attacks and retaliation from supervisors and top officials in the VA.

“I was immediately …

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Obama requests $3.7 billion to deal with border surge

President Obama has sent Congress a request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to help deal with a recent surge of children and adults from Central America – almost half of that would go to the Department of Health and Human Services to deal with the care and detention of …

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Feds limit reporters on border kids visits

As members of Congress and reporters ask to visit federal facilities housing children who have been apprehended by the U.S. in recent months, federal officials are slapping limits on members of the news media who want a glimpse inside.

For example, an email sent to news organizations by Jesus Garcia, …

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Can Congress actually change the VA?

One easy target in the political controversy over long wait times and substandard care for veterans is certainly the VA leadership, which even the White House says has allowed a “corrosive” culture to develop inside that agency. But it is difficult to review these VA troubles without wondering why the …

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US steps up overseas airline security

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday that because of “recent and relevant” information the U.S. would be stepping up security measures at certain overseas airports which have direct flights to the United States.

“We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as …

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