Liberals love bloated government. Even when shown parts of it are DOA–no pun intended for the fine men and women who served this country–those deluded Leftists will insist it is to stall, stonewall, hedge, stymie, and do everything and anything to keep their pockets lined with taxpayers’ dollars. Because, you know, accountability isn’t their forte.
During the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings, GOP and Committee Chairman Jeff Miller put forth rounds of questioning to Philadelphia and Wilmington VA regional offices director Diana Rubens and St. Paul VA regional office director Kimberly Graves. Both ladies, enacting their Fifth Amendment right, refused to answer the HVAC Chairman’s numerous questions. Even Undersecretary For Benifits, Alison Hickey, now retired–and how convenient–as a private citizen, hadn’t responded to Miller’s request to appear before the Committee.
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In 2014, a fracas developed over the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs handling of its massive, bloated, broken inner workings when a Phoenix, AZ office came under fire for forty vets dying while waiting to receive care, according to CNN.. Thus, the #VAScandal was born. Only after the nation’s outcry, did Eric Shinseki, thrn Sec’y of Vet Affairs, resign in May 2014.
As for the hearings, Rubens repeated multiple times to the HVAC Chairman and Committee members:
“Sir, I’ve been advised by counsel not to answer that question to protect my rights under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.”
And this came after she, colleague Kimberly Graves, and three others were subpoenaed, the first ever in the Committee’s history, to deliver their testimony on the Veterans’ Affairs, Inspector General’s report on suspicious spending of those office’s budgets, despite the employees’ salary caps on moving expenses.
Said Jeff Miller this past Monday:
“I want to make it clear that requiring these individuals or any individual to appear before us today is not done to embarrass them as some have asserted. [Graves and Rubens] are here before us today because they are the subjects of this damning report, which was completed at this committee’s request.”
Last time I checked, if one pleaded the Fifth, instant guilt was understood: one had something to hide. Why otherwise would one plead the Fifth? And having to be subpoenaed to testify before the HVAC to explain the clear waste, fraud, and abuse of this wing of the government, after giving the Chair an endless maze of promises to appear, proves once again Leftists are robber-barrens to the American taxpayers’ money. When confronted, they refuse to be accountable and own that responsibility for it.
Horrific enough the country’s vets work their tails off to protect the same Constitutional rights Graves and Rubens enjoy to little appreciation, lousy pay, and scorn sometimes from the public. For their fellow servicemen and women to be treated this disgusting, wait delays, limited government services, vets dying while waiting for care is intolerable. But a VA staffer using vacant jobs they applied for to take advantage of relocation expense funds is unforgivable. Yet then again … Leftists have no moral barometer. Unless if it benefits them, naturally.
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