Bishop Votes to Strengthen Accountability at the VA
WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the House passed the bipartisan S. 1094, “Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act,” by a vote of 368-55. In response, Rep. Bishop issued the following statement:
“There are many kind people working with the VA who just want to make a difference. Unfortunately, their ability to do good for our veterans is being overshadowed by bad actors who have been protected for too long by big agency bureaucracy – and they need to be rooted out.
“With the enactment of this legislation, we can finally remove these individuals from the VA system and safeguard employees who come forward with the information necessary to do so. Ensuring only the best people work at the VA means better care for our veterans, plain and simple. I look forward to the president signing this bill into law.”
The House passed H.R. 1259, the “VA Accountability First Act of 2017,” on March 16, 2017. The Senate passed S. 1094, the “Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017,” on June 6, 2017, which the House has now passed.
As noted by the House Veterans Affairs Committee, S. 1094:
- Creates a new streamlined process to remove, demote or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct with a concrete shortened timeline, while still protecting employees’ due process and appeals rights.
- Provides expanded protections for whistleblowers and would specifically bar the VA from using this removal authority if the employee has an open whistleblower complaint/case with the Office of Special Counsel.