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Jacqueline Klimas

Jacqueline Klimas

Jacqueline Klimas covers Capitol Hill for The Washington Times. She can be reached at jklimas@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Jacqueline Klimas

Defense Dept.'s $2M staffing-needs calculator doesn't meet needs

The Defense Department spent $2 million to develop a tool to estimate mental health staffing requirements, but the services say it doesn't do an accurate job of estimating needs, choosing instead to use legacy or service-specific estimates for the fiscal 2016 requests, according to a report released Friday. Published January 30, 2015

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald speaks at the National Press Club in Washington on Nov. 7, 2014. The Veterans Affairs Department says it is creating a single regional framework that divides the sprawling agency into five clearly marked regions. The new framework is part of a larger reorganization that VA leaders say will bring a singular focus on customer service to an agency that serves 22 million veterans. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) **FILE**

VA touts new map with few details as positive step forward

Officials for the Department of Veterans Affairs released a map of the United States divided into five regions on Monday, touting it as a positive first step to eliminate bureaucracy, though it's still unclear how each of the department's arms will fit into the new borders that took four months to draw. Published January 26, 2015

The seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington is seen here on June 21, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

VA popularity plummets: poll

The Department of Veterans Affairs' popularity among the public dropped sharply over the past year, making it the third-least popular government agency, a poll released Thursday found. Published January 23, 2015

The seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington is seen here on June 21, 2013. The number of military suicides is nearly double that of a decade ago when the U.S. was just a year into the Afghan war and hadn't yet invaded Iraq. While the pace is down slightly this year, it remains worryingly high. The U.S. military and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acknowledge the grave difficulties facing active-duty and former members of the armed services who have been caught up in the more-than decade-long American involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

Disability appeals process forces some vets to wait years

More than half of all VA disability appeal cases are sent back for another review — sometimes more than once — and must be addressed before new cases are opened, leading some veterans to wait years for a final decision, the Veterans Affairs Department admitted Thursday. Published January 22, 2015

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) ** FILE **

Senate to conduct more on-the-ground oversight of VA

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, now under Republican control, said Wednesday that it would make its mission to keep a closer eye on the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, including holding hearings at Secretary Robert McDonald’s headquarters and traveling to Arizona to get a firsthand look at the office that denied veterans care by trapping them on secret waiting lists. Published January 21, 2015

President Barack Obama walks with Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the South Lawn of the White House upon returning from the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama urged to address veteran suicides in State of the Union

At least two families in the audience for the State of the Union will be looking to the president Tuesday night to publicly support steps that could have saved their sons and husbands who committed suicide after leaving the military. Published January 20, 2015

Cross country skiers pass by the Cannon House Office building on Capitol Hill during a snow storm in Washington, DC, on December 19, 2009. Congress this month is beginning a 10-year, $752.7 million renovation project on the building that will include replacing all of the pipes and plumbing, some of which are more than 100 years old. (Katie Falkenberg / The Washington Times)

Cannon House Office Building begins $752M renovation

Congress this month is beginning a 10-year, $752.7 million renovation project on the Cannon House Office Building that will include replacing all of the pipes and plumbing, some of which are more than 100 years old. Published January 18, 2015

In this Nov. 7, 2014 photo, Debbie Larsen views the graves of her sister Linda Sawatzke and nephew Rory Gavic at the St. Francis Catholic Cemetery near Buffalo, Minn. Gavic was a young, decorated military member who served his country overseas twice, who had earned praise and the respect of his peers, who had volunteered as a Big Brother. His suicide in 2009 devastated his family, especially his mother Linda Sawatzke who killed herself four years later with the same handgun. (Associated Press/The St. Cloud Times, Dave Schwarz) **FILE**

Military suicides decreased in 2013: report

The number of military suicides decreased in 2013, according to a report released Friday, though advocates say the number is still too high. Published January 16, 2015