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Chewing Through the Backlog: Now that two more judges are hearing and issuing decisions on veteran’s appeals, the huge backlog of pending cases is starting to slim down, according to a statement from Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Called from retirement, the two judges joined the current seven member panel of judges, and together they are now “on track” to ramp up to 30 percent more decisions issued this year, says Craig, who in July criticized the mounting load of pending cases. Craig called their progress “wonderful news” for veterans.