During a speech today before the Louisville Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), U.S Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the lengthy backlog of VA disability claims a “national disgrace” and said President Obama needs to get directly involved in trying to fix the problem.
“An issue this important demands attention from the very top. The commander-in-chief must hold the VA accountable. His leadership is essential to addressing this problem,” McConnell said.
Today, nearly 750,000 veterans are stuck in the backlog. Over 60 percent of those waiting have been waiting for more than four months. This despite promises from then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 to reduce the backlog, despite attempts to modernize the VA’s claims system, and despite a 40-percent increase in the VA’s budget in the last four years.
“For this reason, I have personally advocated, and will continue to advocate, that the President himself take direct action and involvement to end the VA backlog,” Senator McConnell said.
President Obama recently acknowledged that much needs to be done to end the backlog, but only after Senator McConnell raised the VA backlog issue last month during his remarks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Louisville.
Senator McConnell added, “I’m encouraged the President is stepping up to this task, however, he needs to do more.”