In light of staff members at the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities being arrested for corruption and fraud, Florida Rep. Brian Mast (R) issued a statement in the form of a letter directed to Robert Wilkie, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In the letter, Rep. Mast asserts that “it is beyond reprehensible that staff at the VA would line their own pockets with dollars intended to help veterans.” However, “while I know that there are many amazing and talented people at the VA who cherish the opportunity to serve our veteran community selflessly, unfortunately, this is also yet another example of the VA limping from scandal to scandal.”
As such, Mast commented that “this… exemplifies why the VA should be begging for increased oversight.” But, “instead… the VA will be evicting Members of Congress from your facilities, and I can only help but wonder why you would not be asking for the help of all 535 Members of Congress in working daily and weekly on the ground to assist our veterans.”
In turn, the Florida Congressman urged Secretary Wilkie to reconsider the eviction, asking him to discuss “a way forward that empowers Members of Congress to provide the kind of oversight at the VA that our founders envisioned when they created our system of checks and balances.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R) also weighed in on the controversy, informing that it is “very disturbing to hear that” the Department of Veteran Affairs “employees in Florida were arrested for alleged fraud & kickbacks dating back to 2009.”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 11, 2019
Since being elected President in 2016, President Trump has highlighted the need to reform the VA, which has become an important aspect of his platform.
The President has not yet commented on the recent controversy.