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Jacqueline Klimas

Jacqueline Klimas

Jacqueline Klimas covers Capitol Hill for The Washington Times. She can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Jacqueline Klimas

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

Sharon Helman, director of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Phoenix clinic, was fired from the VA, but only because she improperly took thousands of dollars in gifts. A personnel appeals judge last week rejected the VA's claim that she should also have been dismissed for overseeing the wait lists. (Associated Press)

VA loses first case against clinic director in scandal

The VA blundered its first public act of accountability in this year's wait list scandal, with department investigators and attorneys failing to make a case stick against the Phoenix clinic director who oversaw the cooked books and secret lists that left veterans struggling for care. Published December 31, 2014

Republicans say their 2014 campaign victories are proof they've made up ground in the battle with Democrats for digital supremacy. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Republicans: Wins show success in digital battle

Republicans say their 2014 campaign victories are proof they've made up ground in the battle with Democrats for digital supremacy, but consultants say they'll need to continue cultivating a pool of talent to make sure they're ready to compete at the presidential level in 2016. Published December 28, 2014

With the Capitol in the background, Army veteran David Dickerson of Oklahoma City, Okla., right, and Air Force veteran Linda Stanley, from San Diego, Calif., now with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), join others to place 1,892 flags representing veteran and service members who have died by suicide to date in 2014, Thursday, March 27, 2014, on the National Mall in Washington. The event also marked the introduction of The Suicide Prevention for America's Veterans Act by Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., which calls for greater access to mental health care. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) **FILE**

Veteran suicide investigation shows depression may run deeper than VA reports

Veteran suicide is a major issue on Capitol Hill, but policymakers may be making decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate data, according to several investigations that suggest depression could be a far larger problem than the one-in-10 figure the Department of Veterans Affairs cites. Published December 24, 2014