U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent oversees a House subcommittee with oversight of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and a hearing last week underscored his ongoing concerns with the troubled agency.

The Lehigh County Republican has consistently called for reforms at the VA, which has a history of letting veterans' benefits claims languish for months. The agency's Philadelphia office has been a hotbed of criticism for its slow processing of claims. The Philadelphia office handles claims for veterans in and around Berks County.

The hearing focused on how Congress can support the department's Office of Inspector General, which Dent said has played a valuable role in revealing the agency's shortcomings, and offered solutions to serve veterans better.

The inspector general's office received an additional $10 million in the federal budget approved last year.

"It is critical that Congress exercises strong oversight of the VA to ensure that the needs of our nation's veterans are being met fully and expeditiously," Dent said. 

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