McMorris Rodgers Doubles Down on Efforts to Fix Backlog of Veterans’ Record Requests

Sep 23, 2021

Washington, D.C. (September 23, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) led a bipartisan group of 60 lawmakers in demanding the Biden administration address the growing backlog of requests at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). 

In a letter to President Joe Biden, Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja, and Archivist David Ferriero, the lawmakers urged the administration to expeditiously develop a plan to boost capacity at the NPRC and reduce the backlog by any means possible.

“We were recently informed that the NPRC is now operating at 10 percent capacity. This level is down from approximately 20 to 25 percent capacity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year,” wrote the lawmakers. “As a result, the NPRC has a backlog of more than half a million records requests – predominantly for DD-214 forms – that have been unfulfilled.” 

They continued, “In December of last year, Congress gave the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) $50 million in emergency appropriations for the NARA revolving fund. Despite receiving $15 million of this funding, the NPRC has since seen a drop in staffing levels and processing capacity.”  

They concluded, “Veterans are our nation’s heroes. They deserve gold-standard access to care and benefits. We urgently ask you to take any and all actions to address this growing crisis so that our heroes are not left behind in this already difficult time.”

Additionally, the lawmakers requested answers to the following questions, among others:

  1. Why is it now, when vaccines are widely available, that the center is only operating at 10 percent capacity? 
  2. How many DD-214 forms are being processed and delivered per day at the current staffing levels? 
  3. How did the NPRC use the $15 million in funding given to reduce the records request backlog? 
  4. What metrics are the Office of Personnel Management using to determine capacity levels at the NPRC? When does the NPRC expect to return to full capacity? What are the continuing barriers to doing so?

Cathy was joined in sending this letter by Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02), Warren Davidson (OH-08), and 58 other bipartisan members of the House of Representatives.

CLICK HERE to read the letter.

NOTE: Earlier this year, Cathy urged President Joe Biden and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to take immediate action to eliminate the records request backlog. In response, she was told more staff have been hired to increase processing efficiency, remote call centers have been established to help process inquiries, and the online application for the submission of veterans’ requests has been updated to allow for the submission of emergency requests. 

Recent Posts

Jul 11, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Statement on Preliminary Agreement of Columbia River Treaty

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement in response to the announcement that an agreement in principle has been reached between the United States and Canada on the Columbia River Treaty.  “I am encouraged to hear that a preliminary agreement has been reached to finally modernize the Columbia […]

Jul 11, 2024
Immigration Reform

Safeguarding Americans’ Right To Vote

Did you know that more than 500 non-citizens are registered to vote in local elections in Washington, D.C.? With more than 5 million illegal immigrants released into the United States under President Biden’s watch, we cannot allow this to become the norm across America. Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy, but […]

Jul 10, 2024
Clean Energy

Protecting Americans’ Home Appliances From D.C. Bureaucrats

President Biden’s war on American energy has gotten out of control. With the help of House Democrats and Governor Jay Inslee, this administration has unleashed every burdensome regulation you can think of on home appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, and dryers – just to name a few. As a result, the American […]