Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss issues affecting veterans throughout California, particularly the VA disability claims backlog and inaccuracy rates at the Oakland regional office.
A Vietnam veteran from my district, like many others across the country, is suffering from stage 4 lung cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange. He made great sacrifices to defend our country, but waited for more than a year for the Oakland office to process his claim.
My office was able to help him, but such delays are unacceptable. Unfortunately, long waits have become the norm for veterans in northern California. With more and more veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, it is imperative that the VA take action now to address the backlog in Oakland.
While I welcome the news that the entire staff at the facility will be retrained, much more is needed. I call on the VA to implement a concrete plan to address the inaccuracies and delays at the Oakland office. Our region's and Nation's veterans deserve no less.