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VA gives unacceptable answers for how it’s handling accusations of sexual harassment

By Concerned Veterans for America

The House Veterans Affairs Committee continues its investigation into accusations of sexual harassment at the department and the VA’s failure to adequately investigate those claims.

Last fall, several whistleblowers alerted HVAC about alleged sexual harassment by supervisors that had been festering for months in the Office of Resolution Management, Diversity, and Inclusion.

HVAC reached out to VA Secretary Denis McDonough, but he didn’t give the committee an answer for weeks. At the hearing in February, McDonough said he didn’t remember seeing the report on harassment in the office and took ownership of the failures.

HVAC Chairman Mike Bost called the office “a broken organization that has been poisoned with a toxic culture by bad leadership.” He also pledged to continue the investigation into VA’s management of sexual harassment “no matter how long it takes.”

Reps. Derrick Van Orden and Scott Franklin were equally unimpressed with VA’s management of the situation.


Unfortunately, not all HVAC members have the same dedication to accountability at the VA.

Some Democratic lawmakers believe the situation is being exaggerated and politicized, specifically because it’s an election year. Doesn’t sound like a helpful or productive way to get to the bottom of whether VA is allowing bad actors to stay employed. But some members are more interested in supporting the administration and the VA than veterans.

The VA has a responsibility to serve veterans, but it can’t do that well if employees are being harassed by coworkers who face no accountability or if Congress won’t hold the department accountable for disciplining bad employees.

VA needs to use its authorities to fire bad actors, and Congress needs to provide oversight if VA needs more power to hold employees accountable.


Learn more about how Congress could better hold the VA accountable through the Restore VA Accountability Act.