Solving the VA Crisis

The House this week continued to address the colossal failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA).  On Tuesday, the House passed the Veterans Access to Care Act(H.R. 4810).  This bill requires the VA to offer any veteran who cannot get an appointment within 30 days(or who lives more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility)the option to receive care at a non-VA facility.  This will reduce wait times and provide more care options for our veterans.  I was an original cosponsor of this bill.

On Monday, the House also passed the Demanding Accountability for Veterans Act(H.R. 2072).  The final version of this bill includes a bipartisan proposal I introduced to ensure our homeless veterans have access to safe shelters.  Many shelters around the country are currently not in compliance with state, local or federal building codes and put homeless veterans at risk. 

The denial of care to our veterans is a disgrace, plain and simple.  The VA will continue to be held accountableby Congress and the American people, so that veterans will get the care they were promised when they signed up to serve their country.  Congress will continue to hold hearings and continue its ongoing investigation to get to the bottom of this scandal.


Protecting Jobs and Keeping America Competitive

In response to the Obama Administration’s new rules on carbon emissions from power plants, I introduced a bill, cosponsored by 75 bipartisan members,(H.R. 4813)to prevent these regulations from damaging America’s economy.

The bill would stop the Obama Administration’s rules for both new and existing power plants, and place a five-year moratorium on any similar rules.

America needs to wake-up to what these regulations mean for our economy and our future. That is why we are raising the alarm and continuing to fight this plan at every turn. China is burning more coal than the rest of the world combined and investing billions to develop clean coal technologies. They understand the central role coal plays in powering their economy.

On the other hand, the Obama Administration is pushing us away from coal, cutting funding for clean coal research, and forcing America towards higher cost sources of energy. America is going alone in this direction, and in the process we are putting our economy at a disadvantage, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs each year, and increasing electric bills on families across the country.

While we can’t predict what the Harry Reid-controlled Senate will do with this bill, it’s important we make a stand and show the American people just how devastating the EPA’s plan will be.


Increasing Access to Treatment for Patients

This week the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing on access to prescription drugs and doctors under Obamacare. I was asked to participate and discuss my Patients Access to Treatment Act(H.R. 460), which would increase access to life-saving prescription drugs for diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Since introducing the Patients Access to Treatment Act, I have heard from people around the country about how they are not able to afford the medications that they need, even with private insurance. Now we hear that under Obamacare, some plans will not cover specialty drugs at all.

This practice is causing many patients to go without treatment. Congress must act and implement policy that will provide hope for millions of Americans who are currently unable to access critical treatments.


Helping West Virginian Communities

This year I have traveled throughout the district meeting with elected officials. One of the problems we hear of constantly is about issues with funding infrastructure projects. One federal program many of our communities rely on is the Community Development Block Grant(CDBG)program. For the past few years, the Obama Administration has cut funding for the CDBG and Congress has had to restore it. This week the House did that again. For the second year in a row, I introduced an amendment along with Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito to add $100 million to the CDBG, it was unfortunately defeated.

My office can help educate communities on grant opportunities for sewer and water infrastructure projects, and we will continue to fight to keep these programs funded.


Constituent Meetings

This week, I met a number of constituent groups, including members from the WV Contractors Association:

If you are ever in the Washington D.C. office please drop in and say hello. If you want an appointment just give my office a call at 202-225-4172, or submit a request on my website at www.mckinley.house.gov.

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Washington, DC
412 Cannon HOB | Washington, DC 20515
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