Major Bill to Hold Veterans Officials Accountable Heads to President’s Desk
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation, which was recently passed by the Senate, now heads to President Trump’s desk for his signature. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the following statement after voting in support of S. 1094:
“Accountability at the VA is needed to ensure America’s veterans receive quality care. While the vast majority of VA employees are dedicated to serving America’s veterans, the misdeeds of a few bad actors continue to outshine their good work. Time and time again we’ve heard stories of veterans being turned away from care, waiting too long to see a doctor, or being a victim to negligence. Under a culture fostered by a lack of accountability, VA employees have come to work under the influence, misused government purchase cards, and committed armed robbery, but federal civil service protections have made it nearly impossible to remove them from their jobs. In some cases, employees who have engaged in concerning behavior have even received bonuses!
“The legislation passed today gives Secretary Shulkin more flexibility to discipline or remove employees and executives who have failed to serve our veterans. It also strengthens whistleblower protections for those seeking to shine a light on abuses within the VA system. Similar legislation previously passed the House with my support, and I am pleased both the House and Senate have finally come together to send this legislation to President Trump’s desk to become law. Our American heroes deserve nothing short of excellence. We must continue our work to modernize the VA and ensure that America’s veterans receive the best care we can provide.”