VA Secretary: One-sided hearing puts HVAC bipartisanship at risk


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Today, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie released a letter he wrote to House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano regarding the committee’s decision to exclude VA from testifying before the committee during a hearing on the department’s handling of whistle blower complaints.

In the letter, Wilkie expressed disappointment with the committee’s new, one-sided approach, a departure from the holistic oversight the committee has conducted for years.

“When the committee holds a hearing to air criticisms of the Department, while simultaneously preventing the Department from participating to offer context and defend itself, the Committee’s efforts risk appearing more like a political press conference than a hearing aimed at a balanced look at serious issues.  If this is how the Committee intends to conduct oversight of the Department in the future, an exclusionary approach could chip away at the Committee’s oft stated goal of bipartisanship,” Wilkie wrote.

The letter is available here, and the full text is below.

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