WASHINGTON (AP) -- The VA says nearly 80 percent of its senior executives got performance bonuses last year, despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics.<br />
Gina Farrisee is an assistant VA secretary for human resources. She told Congress Friday that more than 350 VA executives were paid nearly $3 million in bonuses last year. Farrisee says the VA needs to pay bonuses to keep executives who are paid up to $181,000 per year.<br />
Florida Republican Jeff Miller is chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Miller says the VA's bonus system "is failing veterans."<br />
He said that instead of being given for outstanding work, the cash awards are "seen as an entitlement and have become irrelevant to quality work product."
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
Evoking history and appealing for solidarity, President Barack Obama on Monday cast his decision to send 250 more troops to Syria as a bid to keep up "momentum" in the campaign to dislodge Islamic State extremists. He pressed European allies to match the U.S. with new contributions of their own.
Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha filed a federal lawsuit against New York City on Wednesday, alleging he was unjustly arrested outside of a trendy nightclub last year during a fracas that left him with a broken leg and ended his NBA season.