This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 5, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In the meantime, my next guest is calling on the acting VA secretary to turn over documents related to the scandal and do so very quickly.
Congressman Jeff Miller is chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
Where do we stand on this, Congressman?
REP. JEFF MILLER, R-FLA.: Well, I met with Sloan Gibson yesterday afternoon. And basically I told him again if we don't receive all the information that we have requested in the subpoena that was issued now over three weeks ago, that we're going to proceed to federal court to force VA to comply with that subpoena.
CAVUTO: All right.
Now, in the meantime, you still have these wait times, you still have these problems. And I'm all for getting to the bottom of the scandal, but I guess I'm more to getting to the bottom of helping these guys out right now.
How can we crunch down their wait times and make sure someone is looking after them?
MILLER: VA needs to do what they have already had the statutory authority to do, but yet they have been hiding from the veterans the fact that they have the ability to go out and receive outside care, outside of the VA system.
However, the legislation that we're all talking about on the Hill this week and we're discussing last week, in fact, pretty much mandates VA. You don't have a choice.
CAVUTO: Well, wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I'm sorry.
So, soldiers, veterans now, if they go to a VA facility where there's a long wait time, someone can give them a slip of paper, or a voucher, whatever you want to call it, go to a private hospital or nearby hospital and get the care there? Because that's news to a lot of these guys.
MILLER: No, it's not. It's news to them because VA has been hiding the fact from veterans that, in fact, in statute, they have been able to send them outside of a VA medical center to a DOD facility, to a contract facility.
And if neither of those have the ability to handle it, the veterans should have been able to go out on their own on the non-VA care system. They spend billions of dollars a year doing this, but they do it in selective areas. And they have been able.
CAVUTO: Well, wait, wait, wait. I'm slow at the take. I apologize,sir.
So, a lot of veterans watch this show, a lot of soldiers watch this show. We're grateful for their viewership. They are hearing you now and saying, what? I can -- I can -- I can I can avoid this whole nonsense because I have rights to go to another hospital, if this one is telling me I'm going to have to wait until like 2020 for care?
I mean, you know, you go to Phoenix in particular, and it was interesting because the former director of that facility was bemoaning the fact that they heard spent $8 million in care outside of their facility. In fact, they should have been saying, we provided $8 million of care to the veterans. It wasn't a hit to their budget.
You know, Congressman, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but here's what I see an inherent problem, the inability of leaders there to fire people. And I'm not all for firing people, but I am for firing incompetent people or people who make our veterans wait.
So, if a new VA head comes in and we're told that not a lot of people are not signing up for this job because they think it's a suicide mission and they won't be able to do anything or have the power to do anything, why is it that we can't enact right now, either via executive order to expedite this, or something that would tell the new head coming in you can fire people who are treating our veterans poorly or forcing them to wait on the spot?
MILLER: Neil, we passed a bill in the House that does just that. It's been sitting over in the Senate. It's now part of this grand bargain that they have come up with ,a little bit of change.
Obviously, there's some appeal rights in there, but this was very narrowly structured. It only deals with about 450 of the senior executives. If you don't do your job, you should be fired. And, unfortunately, the civil service protections are preventing folks from being fired.
And what VA has been doing, unfortunately, is moving them all throughout the system. They are not firing them. They are just relocating them.
CAVUTO: In other words, yes, shuffling around the dead weight.
Now, I know the Republicans feel about president's executive orders. He hands out quite a few. And Democrats didn't like it when George Bush was handing out a lot of executive orders. But do I understand you to say that if this president were to issue an executive order about pronto care, to your point, and about firing dead weight, to your second point, you would sign on to that?
MILLER: Oh, absolutely.
But I promise you this president will not give the authority for anybody to fire somebody that the unions don't approve. And so that's the problem that you have on that side of the aisle. I was very pleased that Senator Sanders, in fact, did embrace the bill that we passed through the House, 390-33, with some very minor tweaks to it.
We will watch closely. Sir, it's a pleasure. Thank you very much.
MILLER: Thank you, Neil.
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