White Mountain Democrats Little Colorado Democrats
1-1-2009
Kirkpatrick and Veterans' Affairs panel vote for additional subpoena
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and her colleagues on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee voted to authorize an additional subpoena for three top VA officials if they do not comply by Thursday, May 29, with a request that they appear and testify before the committee.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday and the officials are expected to appear (watch video of today’s committee meeting about the subpoena. Kirkpatrick’s remarks begin near the 27:30 mark). View Video Kirkpatrick’s remarks begin near the 27:30 mark. The additional subpoena would be automatic if the officials do not appear by May 29, and it would compel their testimony at a public hearing on Friday, May 30, to provide an explanation for the VA’s failure to produce all emails and correspondence demanded through the panel's previous subpoena on May 8.

“My colleagues and I are frustrated with the lack of information or urgency we’ve seen, so we are eager to hear directly from these top officials,” Kirkpatrick said. “Our votes for subpoenas have been bipartisan and unanimous – our committee takes its oversight role very seriously, and we expect the VA to be responsive. Especially when so many questions remain unanswered and so many veterans are waiting for care.”

Kirkpatrick is Arizona’s representative on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is the Ranking Member of its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. In April, she and the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., formally announced that their committee will hold hearings on the Phoenix VA allegations after the Office of Inspector General completes its investigation.

Background: VA officials affected by the subpoena are: Joan Mooney, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs; Dr. Thomas Lynch, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Clinical Operations and Management; and Michael Huff, Congressional Relations Officer.

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