The Department of Veterans' Affairs Inspector General recently notified Congress of allegations that more than $9 million was spent last year on human resources conferences in Florida for Department employees. The Department allegedly spent money on a variety of expenses, including, but not limited to alcohol, spa treatments, concert tickets, limo rides, and even a General Patton impersonator. Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, reacted to the allegations:
"With each passing day, additional information comes to light regarding these very serious allegations of abuse of taxpayer dollars. Most recently it was revealed that the VA spent $52,000 for "Patton-style" self-laudatory videos which at times make the VA's bureaucrats seem like the heroes -- rather than our men and women in uniform. While veterans are fighting every day to work through the maze of Washington red tape, it is shameful for the VA -- or any government agency -- to waste money like this. It does a dishonor to our noble veterans."
"The VA employees who allowed no expense to be spared in 'rewarding' fellow bureaucrats should be ashamed of themselves, and their careers should be called into question. Secretary Shinseki should disclose immediately everything he knows about these conferences rather than reacting to facts revealed by courageous employees within the VA. "
"I look forward to the full report from the Office of the Inspector General, and I expect Secretary Shinseki to remain fully cooperative throughout the investigation. I take Congress' role of oversight very seriously, and I am committed to holding accountable anyone who abused authority."