House Adopts Costa Amendment to Fight VA Backlog

WASHINGTON, DC— The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bipartisan amendment, authored byCongressman Jim Costa (D-CA), which would give the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs additional resources to address the shameful disability claims backlog. The majority of California veterans have their cases processed by the Oakland and Los Angeles offices where the average time a case is pending is 385 and 317 days, respectively. The bipartisan amendment redirects an additional $10 million to pay for programs like the Veterans Claims Intake Program, the centralized mail initiative, and staff overtime.

“No one can deny that the VA has taken strong, meaningful steps to end the backlog, but we must give the VA the resources to do more,”said Costa. “My amendment provides additional funding to end the shameful backlog of disability claims that for too long has delayed benefits to veterans in the San Joaquin Valley and across the country. Our work is not complete until every strip of red tape separating a veteran from the benefits they have earned is removed.”

California Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Jeff Denham (R-CA), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) were co-sponsors of Costa’s amendment.