More than 400,000 benefit claims are waiting to be processed, Klein reported.
He said Shinseki confirmed that claims are up 14 percent because of an aging veterans population and the return of 2 million veterans from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The VA plans to hire 1,100 new processors to more swiftly handle claims. The agency also plans to spend $3.3 billion to enhance its technology next fiscal year, partly to help process claims.
“The men and women who have served this country deserve the highest quality mental-health and physical-health services,’’ said Klein, ``and it is unacceptable that they continue to be buried in bureaucratic red tape."