Democrats to push funding for more VA hospitals

Senate Democratic leaders are planning a two-pronged legislative response to the scandal embroiling the Veterans Affairs Department, which has become an issue in several Senate races.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is looking at a bill to hold senior officials at the VA accountable for mismanagement and legislation that would address the “root cause” of the scandal by expanding veterans’ access to medical care, according to a senior Democratic aide.

“We’ll take a two-step approach. We’ll be putting forward legislation that addresses those who messed up and makes sure they are held accountable and legislation getting to the root cause of the issue,” said the aide.

Specifically, Democratic leaders are looking at the healthcare components of an omnibus bill sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.