Mrs. KIRKPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, today, I introduced a bipartisan piece of legislation to help tackle the substantial backlog of veterans' claims. My bill is called the VA Claims, Operations, and Records Efficiency Act, or CORE. It directs the Department of Defense to enact an efficient electronic transfer of veterans' records instead of the outdated paperwork process that is currently being used.
The average veteran waits more than 250 days for a decision on a claim. About 175 days of that time is the VA waiting for the DOD to send the complete records. In Arizona's District One, one of my veterans' caseworkers is helping several vets who waited more than 2 years. This wait time is simply unacceptable. Federal agencies must leave paperwork in the past and adopt an efficient electronic approach.
I thank my colleague, Chairman Coffman, for cosponsoring this bill. Helping our veterans isn't a partisan issue; it's a national responsibility. Let's end the backlog so we can keep the promises we've made to our veterans.