March 03, 2021

Manchin, Capito Introduce Bill to Improve Transparency at VA Medical Centers

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) along with Mike Braun (R-Ind.), John Boozman (R-AR), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced legislation that would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit to Congress a report on the use of security cameras in VA medical centers. The legislation would help better address transparency issues at VAMC’s in light of the deaths of veterans at the Clarksburg VA Medical Center.

“Veterans have sacrificed so much to protect America and her people. The very least we can do is ensure that when our Veterans return home, they receive the quality care they deserve from our VA facilities. Over the past two years, West Virginia’s Veterans have lost faith in the VA system due to the murders of at least seven Veterans at the Clarksburg VAMC. Today Senator Capito and I are introducing legislation that requires the VA to submit a report on the use of security cameras at VA facilities. Had there been security cameras in place at the Clarksburg VAMC, Veteran lives may have been saved. We must do everything possible to ensure our Veterans have confidence in their VA healthcare facilities and trust the medical professionals serving them, and this legislation is the first step in rebuilding that trust. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation, and I will keep fighting to give Veterans and their loved ones peace of mind during these difficult times,” Senator Manchin said.

“Since the troubling news broke regarding the Clarksburg VA tragedies, I have remained in close contact with those involved in this investigation to ensure that we get answers and make sure situations like this do not occur in the future. During my many conversations with VA leadership and others, it became clear that a complicating factor in the Clarksburg VA investigation was the lack of security footage. Our legislation would help fix this issue and improve transparency. Specifically, our bill would provide the Senate with insight on the utilization of security cameras at VA medical centers across the country so we can better-determine how to tackle this issue and ensure patient safety. Steps like this piece of legislation will put new measures in place that will help us avoid these kinds of tragedies in the future,” Senator Capito said.

A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV), Alex Mooney (R-WV), and Carol Miler (R-WV).

Full text of the legislation can be viewed here.