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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lawmakers scold VA as they seek to fix its sudden budget gap

The Department of Veterans Affairs was scolded by both parties over its budget Wednesday as lawmakers scurried to find a fix to an unexpected shortfall of more than $1 billion that would threaten medical care for thousands of veterans in the coming months. Under repeated questioning, VA Secretary David Shulkin acknowledged the department may need emergency funds.

Senate poised to make firing VA employees easier

The Senate is poised to approve legislation to make firing employees easier for the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s part of an accountability effort urged by President Donald Trump.

Drug thefts continue at VA hospitals despite new efforts

Federal authorities have launched dozens of new criminal investigations into possible opioid and other drug theft by employees at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, a sign the problem isn’t going away despite new prevention efforts.

VA plans mental care for discharged vets, but at what cost?

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin touted new efforts Wednesday to expand urgent mental health care to thousands of former service members with less-than-honorable discharges, even while acknowledging his department isn’t seeking additional money to pay for it.

Lawmakers reach deal on legislation to make it easier to fire VA employees

Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill have reached a bipartisan deal on legislation to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to take swift action to fire employees, an overhaul of long-guaranteed civil service protections that President Donald Trump promised he would enact to bring accountability to the troubled agency.

Veterans Affairs boss says he may close 1,100 VA facilities

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says his department is seeking to close perhaps more than 1,100 VA facilities nationwide as it develops plans to allow more veterans to receive medical care in the private sector.

VA limiting new hiring as it aims to widen private care

Despite the lifting of a federal hiring freeze, the Department of Veterans Affairs is leaving thousands of positions unfilled, citing the need for a leaner VA as it develops a longer-term plan to allow more veterans to seek medical care in the private sector.

Judge exonerates veteran taken down for bringing service dog into VA

Shadow, the service dog, got her day in court. Her handler, 60-year-old veteran Danny Ralph, was found not guilty Wednesday on a charge of disorderly conduct stemming from his takedown arrest last July after he refused to take Shadow away from Mann-Grandstaff Medical VA Medical Center in Spokane.

Veterans, McMorris Rodgers battle VA over access to exercise room

The aging veterans sit in camp chairs inside a pop-up awning with makeshift blue-tarp walls. A propane heater makes it liveable as the Army, Navy and Air Force veterans began their eighth month of a low-intensity protest against Veterans Administration officials.

VA urges ‘hiring surge’ to reduce veterans’ appeals backlog

The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning of a rapidly growing backlog for veterans who seek to appeal decisions involving disability benefits, saying it will need much more staff even as money remains in question due to a tightening Trump administration budget.

Trump taps Obama official as VA secretary

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he has tapped David Shulkin, a physician who is currently serving in the Obama administration as VA under secretary, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.