WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) issued the following statement today after voting for bipartisan legislation to improve veterans’ access to health care and bolster accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I am pleased that Congress was able to reach an agreement that will help ensure our veterans receive the timely, quality health care they have earned. This bipartisan legislation addresses the misconduct and unacceptable delays that have plagued the VA, while allowing the VA to hire the doctors, nurses and medical personnel it needs to provide faster, more efficient care.”

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act provides $10 billion for veterans to seek care outside of the VA system if they live more than 40 miles from a clinic or experience wait-times of more than 30 days. It also provides $5 billion to hire more doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, and $1.3 billion to lease up to 27 new facilities. Additionally, the bill increases accountability in the system by allowing the VA secretary to fire or demote employees in the Senior Executive Service based on poor performance or misconduct.