Historic VA Accountability Measure Heads to White House
Philadelphia, PA – Today the House passed the bipartisan VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which recently cleared the Senate. President Trump has indicated that he will sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) has been the leading veterans group pushing for accountability reform at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) since the group was founded in 2012. Most recently, CVA ran a national grassroots campaign urging Senators to support the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 via hundreds of thousands of activist calls and emails, as well as targeted web ads and local events across the country.
CVA Pennsylvania Field Director Eve Allen issued the following statement:
“Today the VA is one step closer to fixing the toxic culture within the department, thanks to this accountability legislation. By passing this historic bill, Congress has granted VA Secretary Shulkin the authority necessary to hold bad employees accountable while protecting the whistleblowers who have the courage to speak up. This simple but important change will help prevent the kinds of negligence and mistreatment that has become far too common at the VA. We look forward to President Trump signing this bill and ensuring that veterans at the VA will receive better care because the people taking care of them will be held accountable for their actions.”
If signed into law, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 will reduce the time it takes to fire bad employees at the VA, give Secretary Shulkin the ability to recoup bonuses awarded to employees who are found to have engaged in misconduct, and reduce the pensions of VA employees found guilty of felonies related to their employment at the VA. The measure ensures that VA employees who are terminated will not remain on the VA payroll while appealing their terminations. The bill will also increase protections for whistleblowers to help ensure that they are not retaliated against for speaking up about wrongdoings at the department.