WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed three bills this week to address many of the issues facing our veterans:
- H.R. 1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act
- H.R. 1259 – VA Accountability First Act
- H.R. 1367 – To improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes
Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) released the following statement in support of the House’s passage of these bills:
“It’s critical that our government is working tirelessly to serve our veterans who have so bravely served our country, and I am glad the House took important action this week to make sure we are living up to that commitment.
“Our veterans deserve the highest quality of care when they come home after serving our country, yet the VA has often failed to live up to that obligation. Under their current arcane rules, the VA is often unable to take disciplinary action against delinquent employees, making it harder to fire employees who have committed criminal actions or who have been intoxicated on the job. In the private sector, employees are let go immediately if they fail to do their job, and the VA should have similar powers. With the House’s action, the VA will be free from much of this bureaucratic red-tape so they can hold people accountable who fail to do their job caring for our veterans.
“Beyond eliminating bad VA employees, it’s also important that we are able to retain the many good ones that are instrumental in providing care to our veterans. Yet, the VA has struggled to maintain a strong workforce, with the number of VA employees resigning or retiring each year rising since 2009. The House’s action will bolster recruiting programs and practices to ensure the VA is attracting the top doctors and personnel so our veterans can start receiving the level of care they deserve.
“I encourage the Senate to act quickly to pass these bills for our veterans and send them to President Trump’s desk so he can sign them into law.”