Lawmakers: VA needs to improve suicide prevention

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WASHINGTON — Most of the Veterans Affairs scandal impacts the living — vets who faced long waits for appointments while staffers cooked the books. On Thursday, lawmakers, including Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., focused on vets who committed suicide and the need for the VA to improve suicide prevention services.

Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war vet and a former VA official, Rep. Tim Walz D-Minn., and Rep. Jeff Miller R-Fl., the chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, in a bipartisan move, introduced a measure to bolster a package of VA mental health services.

The cross aisle front was a break in a day that ended with another strong shot of the bitter partisanship that is more characteristic of how the House operates.

Late Thursday, House Republican leaders who control the chamber released the draft of their resolution to authorize a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, intended to curb his use of executive authority. This comes as Obama this year has been stepping up signing executive actions in the wake of the House GOP leaders blocking votes on legislation.

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