Last week, 237 members of the U.S. House of Representatives stood up for veterans by voting in favor of the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, H.R. 1259.
This bipartisan legislation will protect veterans from corrupt employees at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The 2017 VA Accountability First Act:
- shortens the overall termination and appeals process for VA employees who engage in misconduct (that process currently can take months or even years);
- empowers the VA secretary to recoup bonuses awarded in error or given to employees who were later found to have engaged in misconduct;
- enables the VA secretary to reduce the pensions of VA employees who are convicted of felonies that influenced their job performance;
- contains language that ensures that these new authorities for the VA secretary cannot be used against whistleblowers who speak up about wrongdoings at the VA.
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced the legislation earlier this month while Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Senate version of the bill.
The Senate should follow the bipartisan leadership of the House and quickly pass this legislation to protect veterans from any further abuse, misconduct, or fraud.