Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) urged the Obama Administration to establish a Presidential Commission to address the VA disability claims backlog. Tierney signed a petition supporting this effort, which is gaining momentum in Congress and is being led by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country's largest non-profit organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
"It is outrageous that some veterans continue to wait hundreds of days for a decision on their disability claims. We must do everything possible to put a stop to these unacceptable delays and ensure that our veterans get the attention, assistance and benefits they deserve. The time has come to find a solution and I fully support the IAVA's efforts to establish a Presidential Commission to address this issue. We must keep our promise to those who have served and defended our country." said Congressman Tierney.
"IAVA appreciates Congressman Tierney's leadership on a top priority for veterans -- ending the VA disability benefits backlog," IAVA founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff said. "We thank Congressman Tierney for fighting for the newest generation of veterans and we will continue to work with him and other members of Congress to bring the number of veterans in the backlog to zero."
In addition to signing the IAVA's petition, Congressman Tierney, a staunch supporter of veterans, has co-sponsored legislation -- the Veterans Backlog Reduction Act -- that would pay provisional benefits for claims that have not been adjudicated by 125 days after the claim was submitted. Last week, John also voted in favor of an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act offered by his Republican colleague, Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada, that would shift $44 million for mandatory overtime to the VA Regional Offices with the worst disability claims backlogs -- greater than 365 days.