Burr Reacts to Delayed and Insufficient Response from VA on Misspent TBI Funds

Washington, D.C. - On July 16, 2010, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Congressman Brad Miller (D-NC), Chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee, sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki requesting information on the misuse of over $6 million in funds that were appropriated by Congress to VA for research on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

In their letter, Burr and Miller asked Secretary Shinseki to provide a detailed account of how the money was spent. The response from VA was due on July 30, and after requesting two deadline extensions, John Gingrich, Chief of Staff to the Secretary, issued a response that failed to fully address Senator Burr's and Congressman Miller's concerns by not providing a complete accounting of the expenditures and specific reasons why the VA failed to conduct any research on TBI using the original funds appropriated by Congress.

"I am deeply troubled that even after giving VA officials two extensions on the deadline, they were still unable to account for the misuse of taxpayer dollars or explain why so much money went to administrative expenses and shutting down the project rather than critically needed research for our veterans," Senator Burr said. "In his confirmation hearing, Secretary Shinseki said he supported funding research and treatment of TBI, so he owes it to our nation's veterans to fully account for the misuse of this money as soon as possible."

To read the letter Senator Burr and Congressman Miller sent to Secretary Shinseki, click here.

To read the response from VA, click here.

For more information, you can read an article from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review or Fox News.