WASHINGTON — Congress is moving with what one senator called "lightning speed" to help thousands of military veterans enduring long wait times for VA medical care.
The Senate was poised to vote by Thursday on a measure making it easier for veterans who have encountered delays getting initial visits to receive VA-paid treatment from local doctors instead. The measure closely resembles a bill approved unanimously Tuesday in the House, prompting optimism among lawmakers from both parties that a compromise version could be on its way soon to President Barack Obama for his signature.
"Maybe we can show the United States of America that people can come together on a very, very important issue and do it in rapid fashion," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
"It's urgent that we get this done to resolve some of the outstanding issues within the VA," added Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.