Congressional delegation visits Philadelphia VA Regional Office

Costello calls for ‘complete cultural change’


U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Monday, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) joined Members of Congress to conduct joint oversight of the Philadelphia VA Regional Office. Following the recent reports of mismanagement, the Members of Congress visited the facility where they heard from Regional Office and VA leadership, as well as held a forum with employees of the Philadelphia VA Regional Office. VA Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey and Philadelphia Regional Office Director Diana Rubens participated in the discussions.

“It is past time for a complete culture change and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle are ready to continue our direct oversight to ensure that the VA gets it right,” said Congressman Ryan Costello, “This includes releasing the Administrative Investigation Board’s report by the June 30th deadline and promptly passing H.R. 1994: the VA Accountability Act, of which I am an original cosponsor. It is not a partisan issue, it is for the sake of our nation’s veterans and their families. Many of my constituents have been impacted by the corruption, waiting many years to receive the benefits they have been promised. It is my hope that in the coming days and weeks we will get to the root of the problem, hold those who are responsible accountable for their actions, and correct the wrongdoings at this facility.”

Members of Congress who participated in the visit included:
◾Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06, Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee)
◾Rep. Ralph Abraham, M.D. (LA-05, Chairman, HVAC DAMA Subcommittee)
◾Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15, Chairman, HAC Milcon-VA Subcommittee)
◾Rep. Corrine Brown (FL-05, Ranking Member, HVAC)
◾Rep. Sanford Bishop (Ranking Member, HAC Milcon-VA Subcommittee)
◾Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-13)
◾Rep. John Carney (DE-AL)
◾Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
◾Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
◾Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-07)


Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-AL)

The Philadelphia Regional Office serves veterans in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. It is staffed by nearly 1,000 employees and oversees benefits for over 825,000 veterans.

The VA Office of Inspector General has released the long awaited report on mismanagement and data manipulation, as well as the report regarding misuse of a senior position and failure to disclose financial obligations resulting in their temporary administrative leave.

In order to address and correct the purposeful wrongdoings, the IG has identified 35 recommendations for the VA to implement. Additionally, the IG is investigating reports regarding the VA payment of $288,000 to a senior-level Washington D.C. official to relocate just a couple hours away to the Philadelphia Regional Office.

On May 19, HR: 1038: the Ensuring VA Accountability Act passed the House of Representatives in a unanimous vote. Congressman Costello’s legislation would require all reprimands and admonishments to remain in a VA employee’s file as long as they are an employee of the Department, thus creating more accountability and transparency throughout an employee’s tenure at the VA.

On April 23, Congressman Costello and Chairman Jeff Miller led in introducing H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act of 2015, which would authorize the Secretary of VA to remove or demote any employee of the Department for performance or misconduct.

Congressman Ryan Costello represents portions of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery Counties. Visit for more information.

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