EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Biggs, House Republicans Demand VA Explain Suicide Rate Discrepancies

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs and a group of House Republicans sent a letter Tuesday to Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, calling on the VA to explain a discrepancy in reported data of veteran suicide rates.

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the letter, which was signed by 30 House Republicans. In the letter, the GOP lawmakers mention a Sept. 2022 interim report from America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP) that indicates that the VA could be undercounting veteran suicides.

“Utilizing federal and state data, the AWP report reveals the veteran suicide rate may be 37 percent greater than what was reported by the VA from 2014-2018,” the lawmakers wrote. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Biggs Calls On VA Secretary To Attend Forum Regarding Wait Times For Veterans)

Here Is What The Lawmakers Are Asking In The Letter: 

  • How does the VA account for the discrepancy between its own data and the data contained in the AWP report?
  • What steps is the department taking to ensure access to the most accurate information from states and the Department of Defense?
  • How does the VA collaborate with other federal and state agencies and organizations to collect comprehensive data on veteran suicides?
  • What efforts are being made to address the undercounting of veteran suicides and improve data collection?
  • Does the VA have any plan in place to update the methodology of its reports?
  • How does the VA engage with veteran support organizations to collaborate on suicide prevention efforts?
  • How does the VA analyze suicide trends to identify high-risk groups and target interventions accordingly?
  • Are there any ongoing VA initiatives or research projects focused on understanding the root causes of veteran suicides and developing targeted prevention strategies?


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED)– B… by Henry Rodgers

“The large discrepancy in reported data of veteran suicide rates raises concerns that veterans are not receiving the help they are promised by the VA,” Biggs told the Caller before sending the letter. “Incorrect data can lead to misallocation of resources in veteran care and reduced effectiveness of VA programs. I am committed to safeguarding the health of our nation’s veterans through oversight of the federal agency tasked with their care.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Anna Paulina Luna Introduces Legislation To Help Protect Disabled Vets, Make VA More Transparent)

In 2022, Biggs called on McDonough to attend a congressional forum in that will focus on wait times at VA healthcare facilities.

Biggs and the GOP lawmakers requested responses to their questions by Aug. 29.