Amata updates on recent visit with troops and veterans, and ongoing veterans activity in Congress
Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Aumua Amata released an update to constituents on some of the Veterans’ activity in the House of Representatives this week.
Amata took part in a hearing focused on examining treatment of whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), which was a continuation of the topic from a previous hearing. The hearing, Learning from Whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (Part 2), was held by the HVAC Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
VA whistleblowers have reported instances in which Veterans faced obstacles in getting appropriate care through the VA. Congress has taken action to protect these whistleblowers from actions that would discourage employees from speaking out.
“The goal and primary focus should be improving the health care of our Veterans,” stated Amata. “That means these concerns must be heard and considered, and Congress wants to ensure that such reports aren’t mishandled in the future.”
This week, she participated in the full Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing examining wait times in VA health care, exploring solutions and ensuring the VA is focused on these concerns.
Earlier this month, Congresswoman Amata also took part in a Veterans-focused bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Puerto Rico, examining the health care needs in the Territory, how these Veterans specifically need help, hospital infrastructure issues, and how this insight can apply to Veterans elsewhere.
Members of Congress also visited Army, Reserve and National Guard forces.
Congresswoman Amata takes questions from veterans with Chairman Mark Takano (left) and Congressman Kilili Sablan. [photo: courtesy]
“In some ways, the Veterans’ needs examined by the delegation in Ponce, Puerto Rico, echo the needs of our Veterans in American Samoa, and the discussion applies to Veterans in rural, underserved or economically challenged areas,” said Aumua Amata. “I will continue taking up our message, including our aging health care infrastructure, before the Committee and when I speak with VA Secretary Wilkie.”
“It’s always a pleasure to spend time with our troops and thank them in person for their service,” said Amata. “I especially enjoyed seeing one of our own in Captain Linda Galea’i, who is making us proud. I also heard from some great Veterans who have a lot in common with our Veterans in American Samoa.”
Of interest to Veterans, the House passed the bipartisan Department of Energy Veterans' Health Initiative Act, H.R.617. The bill directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a research program in high-performance computing focused on developing tools that could help solve big data challenges associated with veterans' health care, and further support the VA in identifying potential risks and challenge.
Under this bill, the DOE would develop a pilot program for big data analytics that would study artificial intelligence technologies to solve complex big data challenges.
Aumua Amata: Always a pleasure to spend time with our troops and thank them for their service. [photo: courtesy]