Congressman Daniel Webster is applauding the signage of the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which was signed by President Donald Trump this week and makes it easier for the VA to fire under-performing employees.
Webster had these remarks on Friday
“This is the first step in ensuring our veterans receive the highest quality and swiftest care from the Veterans administration.
The 2014 VA scandal stands out as one of the most egregious failures of providing our veterans with the care they deserve. Over the last several years, Congress has passed several reform bills with bipartisan support, only to see these bills die in the Senate. The Obama administration’s plan for our veterans was full of broken promises and tragic results.
But now, with strong Republican majorities in both chambers and a staunch pro-veteran President in the White House, we are taking swift action to end the atrocious failures. Our first action is to remove inappropriate regulations that make it impossible to hold accountable those VA employees who do not provide our veterans with the quality of service they have earned. The bill also establishes the Office of Accountability, which forbids the VA Secretary from retaliating against whistleblowers who have filed complaints within the VA general counsel’s office.”
In addition to making it easier to get rid of under performing employees, the bill also establishes protections for Whistle Blowers from retaliation. In recent years, there have been complaints from Veterans advocates around the country regarding negligent employees and executives being over protected, despite a backlog of hundreds of thousands of VA claims cases, the legislation aims to attack the problems both from the inside and out.
The bill enjoyed a measure of bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate before reaching the President’s desk.