House vets committee approves subpoena for VA witnesses

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The House Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously voted to subpoena three top VA officials after they failed to appear before the committee Thursday morning.

The subpoena will be issued on May 30 for the three officials to testify if they don’t appear voluntarily May 28.

“Given the VA’s continued pattern of stonewalling, there is good cause for the committee to vote in favor of receiving this testimony in open session as soon as possible,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican and committee chair.

Some lawmakers said failing to appear before the committee is a “slap in the face” to service members, who drop whatever their doing, even if its inconvenient, to deploy when the country needs protection.

The three VA officials who may be subpoenaed are: Joan Mooney, assistant secretary for congressional and legislative affairs; Dr. Thomas Lynch, assistant deputy under secretary for health for clinical operations; and Michael Huff, congressional relations officer for the VA.

When they do appear before the committee, officials will also have to testify about why the department has provided so little in response to the committee’s subpoena for emails and documents from dozens of VA officials earlier this month.

“I am quickly getting the impression the department does not want to fully cooperate in this matter,” Mr. Miller said Tuesday after only receiving about 200 emails from one official.

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