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State Lawmakers Will Hear Testimony from Texas Veterans Today

A VA clinic in Corpus Christi, TX (Terry Ross via Flickr)

The Texas Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations is meeting today in Pasadena to look into the ongoing allegations of mistreatment at VA clinics across the country.

The evolving scandal has led the FBI to launch a criminal investigation into the matter. It's also led to a rare showing of bipartisanship in Washington, with both the House and the Senate passing legislation aimed at giving veterans quicker, easier access to health care, and cleaning up some of the Department of Veteran Affairs' messy practices.

This morning we spoke with State Senator José Rodríguez of El Paso, a member of the senate committee, about today's hearing.

Rodríguez says lawmakers will be hearing testimony from veterans, and working on further solutions to get Texas veterans faster care.

"I think it's our role is to get testimony, and to see if there's any way that the state itself can help in alleviating this problem," Rodríguez says.

The VA's own internal audit for the southwest pegged a clinic in Big Spring for further review, alongside two others in Phoenix and Arizona.


Two years ago, the Texas Veterans Commission worked to reduce a major backlog of disability claims from veterans. Rodríguez says the committee will also be exploring whether it could use the same methods it used then to help speed up wait times at Texas VA clinics.

Travis Bubenik is All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter at Marfa Public Radio.