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Prevention of veteran suicides should be among the foremost of VA’s goals, and Congress should be performing aggressive oversight to ensure existing programs and authorities are striving to this end.

H.R. 5059 creates a number of new programs at the VA and $22 million in new federal spending.  In almost every case, VA already has the tools and authorities it needs to address these problems.  The department needs leadership, not another piece of ineffective legislation. Congress should be holding the VA accountable rather than adding to its list of poorly managed programs.  The VA has proven that questions need to be asked before it is entrusted with the lives of veterans or the money of taxpayers.

Rajiv Jain, the Veterans Health Administration's assistant deputy undersecretary for health for patient care services, told members of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee last month that while the department supported the goals of the bill, the legislation overlaps with existing programs. 

Further concerns with the legislation can be viewed here.