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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

Senate approves bill to restrict Guantanamo transfers

A Senate panel approved a bill Thursday that further restricts the president's ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay, sending the debate on closing the military prison to the full Senate. Published February 12, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden listens at left as President Barack Obama speaks about the Islamic State group, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015,  in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Obama asked the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to authorize military force to "degrade and defeat" Islamic State forces in the Middle East without sustained, large-scale U.S. ground combat operations, setting lawmakers on a path toward their first war powers vote in 13 years. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) **FILE**

Obama signs veterans suicide-prevention bill

President Obama signed a bill to improve mental health care for veterans Thursday after Congress unanimously approved the new measures earlier this year. Published February 12, 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 secretary: 24K vets have used Choice Card

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald told lawmakers Wednesday that 24,000 veterans have made appointments for private care since the Choice Card program began last year and asked again for the flexibility to reallocate that money if vets would rather be seen at the VA. Published February 11, 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 added to 'high-risk' agency list: report

Veterans health care joined a list of more than 30 other areas of government deemed "high risk," according to a report released Wednesday. Published February 11, 2015

Susan Selke and Richard Selke, parents of Clay Hunt, a Marine Corps combat veteran who died by suicide in March 2011 at the age of 28, is joined by Congressional leaders as they gather for the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. From left to right are House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Susan Selke, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Richard Selke, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. The legislation, which now goes to President Obama for his signature, calls for evaluation of existing Veterans Affairs mental health and suicide prevention programs, and expands the reach of these programs for veterans.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Veteran suicide prevention bill approved by Congress, sent to president

Susan Selke, whose son committed suicide after struggling to receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility, said Tuesday was “a day of mixed emotion” as lawmakers signed a bill that will improve mental health care for veterans, sending it to the president to become law this week. Published February 10, 2015

Victims of the Fort Hood shooting will soon be eligible to receive the Purple Heart, with Congress pushing ahead with a policy change that would officially recognize domestic terrorism as an issue, rather than the "workplace violence" designation the Obama administration had used. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Fort Hood victims to finally get Purple Heart

The U.S. Army announced Friday that it will award the Purple Heart to the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood killings after years of pressure to designate the shooting as a terrorist attack. Published February 6, 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 **

N.H. senators push for permanent Choice Cards for some vets

Both New Hampshire senators said Friday that they introduced a bill to make the Choice Card permanent in states with no full-service Veterans Affairs hospital in response to the president's plan to cut from the program. Published February 6, 2015

Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said the administration doesn't believe it's a coincidence that a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese hostage were wearing orange jumpsuits, which he said are symbols of Guantanamo Bay, in two recent execution videos released by the Islamic State. (Associated Press)

Obama uses burning of Jordanian pilot to argue for closing Gitmo

The Obama administration said Thursday that the Islamic State's execution of captives in orange jumpsuits is evidence that Guantanamo Bay is being used as a recruitment tool by terrorists and must be shut down, even if it means releasing dangerous terrorists back into the Middle East. Published February 5, 2015

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., flanked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., left, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, where he gathered a bipartisan group of senators to call on American support for Ukraine, which needs weaponry to stave off incursion from Russia and Ukrainian separatists. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Ukraine urges U.S. to make good on nukes-for-protection deal

Ukrainian leaders pleaded Thursday with the Obama administration to provide lethal weapons to defend against a Russian invasion, saying that America promised more than two decades ago to protect the country when it gave up its stockpile of nuclear weapons. Published February 5, 2015

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday defended President Obama's plan to scale back funding for the VA Choice Card, and redirect that money to other parts of the agency. The House and Senate veterans' affairs committees expressed concerns about the proposal. (Associated press)

VA Secretary McDonald defends Obama's Choice Card budget cut

VA Secretary Robert McDonald defended President Obama's budget request to cut some funding from the new Choice Card program for veterans, saying he wants the embattled department to be able to make decisions about whether the program is working and when to limit it. Published February 3, 2015