Confusion has reigned in Washington in recent weeks after the Department of Veterans Affairs provided a series of inconsistent messages about delayed or incorrect payments to veterans covered by the GI Bill.
As the issue gained steam, lawmakers demanded further answers, introduced a related bill and called for an investigation to find out what went wrong and what VA plans to do to fix the problem, NBC News reported. For many, behind this flurry of sternly worded letters and acts of oversight, however, lies an open question: Who should be held accountable for a series of missteps that left student veterans in dire financial circumstances?
There’s also an attempt to discern whether this is a systemic issue at a beleaguered federal agency or mismanagement by a new administration.
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“The VA is responsible for executing the handshake that America makes with people in uniform,” Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said. “When they screw up, it’s bigger than a bureaucratic issue.”