Panel Promises Tougher Oversight of Vet Affairs

Not happy with responses to concerns about exorbitant travel expenditures


Members of Congress angrily vowed Wednesday to crank its investigative floodlights far brighter on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, accusing agency leaders of dodging direct questions on travel and conference spending, failing to disclose a gathering in Las Vegas, and exhibiting "total incompetence" as veterans wait in record-long lines for medical help.

During a hearing before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said that one day after he and VA Deputy Secretary Scott Gould had held a "civil conversation" on the same issues, Gould's vague responses to the panel's precise and lengthy interrogation "raised the hackles on the back of my neck."

"The truce is over. It lasted less than 24 hours. Expect much more oversight from this committee," Miller said. "Expect more questions from this committee because they're coming — in great volumes."