Philadelphia, PA – Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) has signed on to co-sponsor the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act. The bill was re-introduced to the Senate last week by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) – if passed, it would be an important first step toward ending the negligence and toxic culture at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act (S.152) would make it easier to fire bad VA employees, cap bonuses for senior VA executives, reform the VA’s broken disability benefits appeals process, and strengthen whistleblower protections. Currently, it can often take over a year to fire a bad VA employee – including those who have engaged in criminal acts.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Pennsylvania Field Director Eve Allen issued the following statement:
“We applaud Senator Toomey for quickly stepping up to support a bill that will finally hold negligent VA officials accountable. We urge Senator Casey to demonstrate a commitment to helping veterans by following Senator Toomey’s lead as soon as possible. Pennsylvania veterans should be able to rely on their elected officials to put their needs ahead of the interests of bureaucrats. There is no reason that this new Congress should not immediately take meaningful steps to end the toxic culture at VAs in our state and across the country.”
Sen. Toomey has a strong record of advocating for veterans. Toomey was an early cosponsor of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 as well as a sponsor of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability Act of 2015. He also worked across the aisle with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to urge President Obama to address veterans’ disability claims backlog both in Pennsylvania and nationwide.