The Buzz

BuzzChat Wed: Moran calls for no vacations until Congress deals with VA

Good morning.

“We ought not adjourn for an August recess in the absence of us reaching a conclusion. Don’t walk away from this issue.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran urging the Senate not to break for recess in August until House and Senate negotiators reach agreement on a bill to address shortcomings in the Veterans Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid predicted this week that negotiators would fail to strike a deal. Moran pointed out that senators can blame the VA all they want for its problems. But the same blame should fall on the Senate if it can’t reach a compromise.

“The numbers are shameful, the response has been shameful.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt on Monday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in St. Louis about the recent VA problems.

Blunt teed off on the VA, which has been steeped in controversy since a May report found an agency hospital in Phoenix kept 1,700 veterans off official patient lists. An audit of the VA found that more 57,000 veterans had to wait at least three months to see a doctor. Blunt’s Senate partner, Claire McCaskill, emphasized the need to protect whistleblowers in her talk to the group. (link courtesy of

“Today’s rulings move this important legal dispute one step closer to final resolution.” — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt commenting on the conflicting federal appeals court rulings Tuesday on Obamacare.

That final resolution, almost everybody agrees, will have to come from the U.S. Supreme Court, and that appears to be where this latest issue with Obamacare is headed.

“It's time that we really address this.” — Kansas state Rep. Peggy Mast, an Emporia Republican, on the state’s lack of computer security that’s making citizens’ personal information vulnerable.

Turns out that a new state audit found that information technology security is a longstanding problem in Kansas government. Lawmakers are seeking estimates of what it would cost to implement the auditors' recommendations.