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Washington, DC – Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Santa Clarita) used her time Wednesday in the Oversight and Reform Committee hearings to shine a light on the issues of veteran suicide, VA wait times, and veteran and military family exposure to harmful chemicals.

The first hearing was an Environment Subcommittee hearing with Dave Ross, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to examine the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals known as PFAS, for military families. These chemicals are found in common household items, consumer goods, and firefighting foam used on military bases, but are now linked to serious health conditions, including cancer.

“This is a personal issue for me. I come from a district rooted in defense and service, where we have a large active duty military and veteran population,” Hill began. “For my constituents, these are people who have fought for this country and have been exposed to these chemicals and we expect the EPA and Department of Defense (DoD) to take responsibility and work to regulate these harmful substances.”

During the Congresswoman’s questioning, Mr. Ross agreed that the PFAS health crisis is a major national issue for the EPA to address. It was also evident that those in military service are disproportionately exposed to these harmful chemicals, which are currently under-regulated by the EPA.

During the second hearing with the Government Accountability Office, Hill presided over the committee as Vice Chair and oversaw the questioning. In an expansive report that spanned a gamut of government offices at risk for mismanagement and waste, Hill honed in on veteran suicide rates and VA healthcare.

“I’m concerned that the VA is failing to make progress on long-overdue reforms that are necessary to provide the best possible healthcare to over nine million veterans,” Hill said.

She went on to address the issue of wait times for veterans at facilities – sometimes up to 70 days – which well exceeds the 30-day maximum limit under the law. Her line of inquiry sought answers on how to address those wait times to provide our veterans with the care and relief they need.

She ended by addressing the fact that the VA estimates that 20 veterans die by suicide each day, and some veterans commit suicide in the very VA hospitals where they went to receive care.

“The administration claims that veteran suicide prevention is one of its top priorities, but the numbers tell a different story,” Hill concluded. “Spending on outreach has declined substantially over the past several years. I will hold the VA accountable in improving its suicide prevention program immediately to ensure veterans get the care they need and deserve.”

Hill’s office provides constituent services, which include help with veteran’s issues and federal agencies.

Footage of the full exchange can be found here.

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1 Comment

  1. Wilmoth Vince says:

    If you believe what you heard you better everyday for now on . Wilkie and Shulkin took the senate committee for a ride and all do is make excuses and nothing in the mean time . Grants have to be applied for and the wait time and any Tom dick and Harry will apply for them while more Vetreans keep killing themselfs . Why does the VA keep pulling you your chains and keep getting away with it .The VA had a severe problem, Shulkins holdovers . Pt advocates who falsely and destroy records .Directors of hospital that hide and allow criminal employees to get away with murder . One star hospitals, unqualified staff especially mental health, red flagging Vetreans, denying medications, forty thousand vacant positions, closing outpatient clinics scheduling and wait times ,no accountability it’s always the Vetreans fault abuse of Veterans by employees,silence and covering their crimes ,denying tort claims, harassing Veterans and punishing them over marijuana , writing in their files their drug addicts, falsifying their files, leaving directors like at Bay Pines on the job, punishing veterans who whistle blow or complain deemed problematic,social workers and nu s who have lost their licsenses but work at the VA, hiding and destroying complaints filed against emuand writing their critics saying how good they are when their not .Corruption at every level and congress just says do better next year and takes them fir their word . Having Vetreans by swat teams like me and wrongly jailed for eight nine days because one work social said I was threat to everybody. A lie that cost me dearly and I’m one hundred percent disabled veteran with no medical right now or health care . On a two year red flag which is illegal, the only one in America and had forty years of 4.0 Marks not one complaint and fought two years to clear my name . I am speaking in Oklahoma City Capital next Thursday on this whole ordeal at the capital.i have fight Veterans right for thirty eight years snd built and started the largest DAV in the state and serving more then anybody. The doctor who said this about me wasn’t even doctor. My doctor was arrested fir having sex with one of my friends and plead guilty in Federal court in Muskogee Oklahoma for obstruction of justice and falsifying patent records . Dr Grier .This was retaliation for to me fir standing up for her .The VA was trying to cover it up
    . Stopping my medications and making a false report on and have two drug test snd eight hours of speaking with a doctor social worker and a judge they all why was I arrested. That doctor wrote in my file that I was on drugs and was having psychotic break down but none of that was true . Five doctor called her on it and said this is as normal as we are maybe more and was released but she called the police and told them the same thing . Then the VA went into over drive to cover it up and they have put me through hell . They took half my file out and wrote a false narrative and it went all the way to directors office where he covered fir them.I am one of biggest in the Unted States and communicate with about a quarter million Veterans everyday and we will not let this go until it is corrected. Thirty -Two Veterans groups on Facebook alone . I don’t speak on myself but I will continue to organize these groups and report everything the VA does in the VA across the country.iI get the reports as their happening and live feed when Veterans have shot themselfs. Brad Bolten and myself kneeled on Forth of Juky last year . Brad at Oay Ounes and me in Oirtkand where the VA police shot an innocent Veteran in the hospital and then railroaded him with a grand jury in two weeks and convicted him .I can say I speak fior them all because I do . Thank you

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