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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

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

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

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)

Veterans advocates push for more funding for VA

Veterans advocates warned Thursday that the Choice Card program passed by Congress last year is not a long-term fix for the VA's poor services for veterans, and told lawmakers to boost the department's budget so it can hire more staff and get a new scheduling system to prevent another waiting list scandal. Published January 15, 2015

The VA has been under pressure to improve services after an internal investigation found that offices throughout the country were ensnared in bureaucratic red tape and kept secret waiting lists that prevented veterans from receiving timely care. (Associated Press)

VA cancels bonus program giving employees incentive to rush claims

The Philadelphia VA regional office abruptly canceled plans Wednesday to pay bonuses for speeding up claims processing, after employees said they feared the bonuses would encourage them to make hasty decisions and deny deserving veterans their rightful benefits. Published January 14, 2015

Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican. (Associated Press)

Jeff Miller introduces bill to recoup VA bonuses

A top lawmaker introduced a bill Monday that would allow the VA secretary to order employees to repay bonuses if they were later found to have contributed to poor veteran care. Published January 13, 2015

In this March 1, 2002, file photo, a detainee is escorted to interrogation by U.S. military guards at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)

Republican senators aim to stop Guantanamo closure, tighten detainee transfer rules

Fed up with President Obama's renewed push to close Guantanamo Bay prison, top Republican senators on Tuesday announced legislation to clamp down on his ability to empty the facility, saying he should no longer be allowed to send detainees to Yemen, home of al Qaeda's deadliest franchise, or to release any of the most serious terrorist suspects still being held. Published January 13, 2015

Smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani, following an airstrike by the US led coalition, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Congress waits for Obama's rules for war against Islamic State

Republicans said Thursday that they expect the White House to write a set of rules governing the war on terrorism and share it with Congress in the near future, kicking off a debate about redefining the war to go after the Islamic State. Published January 8, 2015

Family and friends take photos with their phones as 70 D.C. Army National Guard soldiers with the 273rd military police arrive in formation for their welcome home ceremony after returning from Bagram Air Base after 10 months, Afghanistan, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 16, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Report likely to reignite fight over troops' pay, benefits

Congress will soon have to act on reforms to the military benefits system when the special commission on how to fit a modern military into tight budgets reports back to Capitol Hill, igniting fights over pay and health benefits. Published January 7, 2015