Republican lawmakers in the House want quicker service for veterans who request copies of their service records. In a May 6 letter to the head of the National Archives, Reps. Mike Bost, R-Illinois and James Comer, R-Kentucky, decried the National Personnel Records Center’s (NPRC) backlog of nearly half a million unprocessed requests as of March. Veterans and their families need the records to ensure they get the benefits they have earned.
Bost is ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee; Comer is ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
“Veterans need answers. It is unacceptable that we continue to receive mixed messages about when veterans will have timely access to their records,” Bost said.
“The … Center failed to adapt to the pandemic,” Comer said. “Holding these records hostage inevitably delays military funerals, benefits payments, access to veteran shelters, decisions on VA claims, and more. NRPC must clean up its act, address the backlog immediately, and give these families and Congress an explanation and timeline for fixing it.”
Twenty-eight other Republican House members have co-signed the letter.
According to a notice on the NPRC website – https://www.archives.gov/personnel-records-center – the center had been closed due to the pandemic and only completing emergency requests. It said that as of March 29 it increased on-site staff to 25 percent of its workforce is and working to fulfill requests related to medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter.