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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Deal reached on VA reforms

From left: Jeff Miller, the VA seal and Bernie Sanders are shown in this composite. | AP PhotosFrom left: Jeff Miller, the VA seal and Bernie Sanders are shown in this composite. | AP Photos
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Details of the agreement between Miller and Sanders were not immediately clear.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Jeff Miller have reached an agreement to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to an aide briefed on the matter.
The legislation, which is to be unveiled Monday, will touch on “both the short-term and long-term needs of the VA,” the aide said.
The two lawmakers worked continuously through the weekend to craft a deal before Congress heads home for a five-week recess Friday.
Last week, the prospect of Sanders (I-Vt.) and Miller (R-Fla.) reaching a compromise had seemingly declined when Senate Democrats and House Republicans criticized each other for giving up on negotiations. But Miller and Sanders were ultimately able to reach a compromise.
“Miller and Sanders continued negotiations on a VA reform package this weekend and made significant progress toward an agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals,” an advisory from Miller’s and Sanders’ offices said.
Specific details of the agreement were not immediately clear, but any legislation would likely give the VA secretary a broader ability to fire senior officials accused of mismanagement. The deal is also expected to...
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