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McConnell Optimistic On VA Reform Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is optimistic about the future of a bipartisan VA reform bill.

The legislation was crafted by Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders and Republican Representative Jeff Miller.

In a statement on the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell said the $17B package would bring some much-needed accountability into the VA system.

"We know that there is much we can, and should, do to address this crisis together. So I’m hopeful. Because when veterans are denied care, it’s a priority deserving of bipartisan attention. And the government needs to start living up again to the promises it made to our veterans," he said.

The lion’s share of the cost would go toward covering veterans seeking health care outside of the VA network while another $5 billion would bolster the VA’s existing system.

McConnell’s Democratic Senate opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, broke with the Obama administration in May by calling for the resignation of former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. When asked about the current reform package, Grimes told WUKY, "I will support any sensible legislation that fixes these scandalous shortcomings."

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.