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Jun 12, 2014

House Republican No. 2 Cantor to step down after election shock

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A shock primary election defeat for Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, left his political party in chaos on Wednesday as financial markets worried the shakeup might renew budget fights that in the past have caused government shutdowns and near credit defaults.

Cantor, who has served as House Majority Leader since 2011, unexpectedly lost in Tuesday’s vote to college economics professor David Brat, an activist in the Tea Party movement, which wants to reduce federal government spending and taxes and advocates for a smaller government.

Jun 11, 2014

Republican Cantor to leave leading House post after election shock

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The toppling of Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, left his political party in chaos on Wednesday, as financial markets worried the shakeup might renew messy budget fights that in the past have caused government shutdowns and near credit defaults.

Cantor, who has served as House majority leader since 2011, unexpectedly lost Tuesday’s primary election to college economics professor David Brat, a Tea Party activist.

Jun 5, 2014

U.S. senators in deal on veterans health scandal; 18 deaths confirmed

WASHINGTON, June 5 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate negotiators
reached a bipartisan deal on Thursday to ease healthcare delays
at the Department of Veterans Affairs as the agency’s acting
boss revealed that 18 veterans on a secret waiting list had died
while waiting for VA care in Phoenix.

The Senate plan was quickly put together to address a crisis
that has embarrassed the Obama administration and worried
lawmakers in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections.

Jun 5, 2014

Senators reach bipartisan deal on veterans’ healthcare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Key senators announced on Thursday a bipartisan proposal to address a crisis in veterans’ healthcare, seeking quick action on a scandal that embarrassed the Obama administration and angered lawmakers who are strong advocates for veterans.

The legislative proposal, which must be voted on by the full Senate, is aimed at ensuring immediate care for military veterans while giving the Obama administration greater authority to fire employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jun 4, 2014

Lawmakers rush to craft bill on veterans health crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers engaged in rare bipartisan talks on Wednesday about legislation to address delays in the delivery of health care for military veterans.

The discussions sparked optimism that Republicans and Democrats can quickly strike a deal for a bill that would ensure immediate care for veterans and give the Obama administration greater authority to fire employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jun 4, 2014

U.S. lawmakers rush to craft bill on veterans health crisis

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers engaged in
rare bipartisan talks on Wednesday about legislation to address
delays in the delivery of health care for military veterans.

The discussions sparked optimism that Republicans and
Democrats can quickly strike a deal for a bill that would ensure
immediate care for veterans and give the Obama administration
greater authority to fire employees at the Department of
Veterans Affairs.

May 31, 2014

Dressing the VA’s wounds: What Obama faces now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the resignation on Friday of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, he said his priority now was fixing the troubled agency whose officials are accused of covering up delays in providing healthcare for U.S. veterans.

That task is monumental. As Obama himself said, the sprawling Veterans Affairs department “has had problems for a very long time,” including management problems. The agency’s woes have been compounded by the rising demands for services after the return of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama noted on Friday that the VA enrolled 2 million new veterans in healthcare under Shinseki’s watch. 

May 29, 2014

Republicans attack Obama over veterans scandal

WASHINGTON, May 29 (Reuters) – Republicans stepped up their
attacks on the Obama administration over a deepening Veterans
Affairs healthcare delay scandal on Thursday, but House Speaker
John Boehner again declined to join a growing list of lawmakers
calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign.

Boehner told reporters he was still not convinced that
Shinseki’s ouster would solve the VA’s problems. Instead, he
sought to keep the pressure on President Barack Obama for VA
scheduling abuses that covered up monthslong delays for
veterans’ medical care appointments.

May 29, 2014

Boehner resists calls for U.S. veterans chief ouster, blames Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans stepped up their attacks on the Obama administration over a deepening Veterans Affairs healthcare delay scandal on Thursday, but House Speaker John Boehner again declined to join a growing list of lawmakers calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign.

At a news briefing, Boehner said he was not still convinced that Shinseki’s ouster would solve the VA’s problems. Instead, he sought to keep the pressure on President Barack Obama for VA scheduling abuses that covered up monthslong delays for veterans’ medical care appointments.

May 20, 2014

U.S. House to debate bill on firing rules at veterans’ agency

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of
Representatives will vote this week on a bill to make it easier
for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire or demote senior
executives, officials said on Tuesday, following accusations
that veterans’ healthcare delays have led to preventable deaths.

The bill addressing the “mess at the Veterans
Administration” will “try and provide the tools to the
administration to hold senior managers accountable,” House
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican, told reporters.