Oversight Follow-Up Hearing on Walter Reed

April 17, 2007
The Oversight Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs is holding a hearing to examine the Pentagon's subsequent response to the Subcommittee's March 5 field hearing on allegations of unacceptable care and living conditions of wounded soldiers housed at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This hearing will also be an opportunity to explore what is being done about broader systemic problems identified throughout the Defense Department medical care system.

This hearing will be the first opportunity for any Congressional Committee to hear from -- and to question -- the Independent Review Group (IRG), which was set up by Defense Secretary Gates to provide recommendations to fix the problems at Walter Reed, Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and other Defense Department medical facilities. Senior Defense Department and Army officials will also be present to respond to the IRG report, to discuss implementation of the report's findings, and to brief the Subcommittee on their own independent corrective efforts.

Watch the hearing live >>

Subcommittee Chairman John Tierney gives opening remarks:

Subcommittee Chairman
John Tierney:

"In February this subcommittee asked the Department of Defense for documents on the problems at Walter Reed. These documents show a rash of complaints about the now-famous Building 18, including mold, mouse droppings, conckroaches and flea bites so severe they required medical attention... What's remarkable is that these complaints happened in the summer of 2005."

Reps. Paul Hodes (NH-02) and Bruce Braley (IA-01) discuss patient advocates and related matters:

Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01):

"We had out first hearing at Walter Reed on March 5th. I asked General Schoomaker, General Cody, and the acting Secretary Geren if any of them could tell me how many patient advocates were serving the pateints at Walter Reed... And you know what they told me? None of them could answer the question..."