To the president's desk
Today, Congress took action on a major bipartisan bill to help make sure veterans are getting the results they need from the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Here's a quick breakdown:
Here's the problem...For too long, the VA has been mired in scandals – there have been instances where veterans died on wait lists, opioids were stolen or over-prescribed, and calls to the VA’s suicide hotline went unanswered. Amidst all of this, former VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson testified at a hearing that it was too hard to fire bad employees at VA. This isn’t fair to the many wonderful, hardworking folks at the VA and most importantly, it is not fair to the veterans they serve.
Our action: The House of Representatives just passed the bipartisan VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.
What the bill does: First and most importantly, it would create a new streamlined and efficient process to remove, demote or suspend any VA employee - or executive - for poor performance or misconduct. It also improves whistleblower protections for VA employees, making sure people aren't punished for holding the organization accountable.
What's next...The bill heads to the president's desk for his signature. It's already been passed by the House and the Senate.
Bottom-line: There’s still much work to be done, but reforms in this bipartisan bill will help ensure employees AND executives at the VA are held accountable for their actions -- and make sure the VA is fulfilling its core mission: support and care for those who have "Borne the battle" in our place.