Lawmakers working on veterans' relief bill

WASHINGTON - A half dozen key lawmakers are trying to quickly craft a compromise bill to help veterans facing long appointment waits at VA hospitals and make it easier to fire administrators who covered up the delays.

The goal is to push a bill through the Senate before Friday's 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe in World War II.

Leading the negotiations are Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and the only self-described socialist in Congress.

Lawmakers in both parties agree on the need to give veterans more flexibility to seek treatment from a private doctor at the government's expense if they can't get timely VA care.

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