Washington, D.C. –
Today, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) released the following statement after the House passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act by a vote of 368-55:
“For too long, the endless bureaucracy and red tape at the VA have protected underperforming and negligent employees instead of supporting our veterans. Providing the highest quality care for our nation’s heroes requires commonsense accountability measures such as those included in today’s bipartisan legislation that will now be signed into law.
“These reforms will shake up the antiquated and toxic culture that has plagued the VA while empowering the vast majority of hard working employees to restore the integrity of this department. I’m proud to have been a cosponsor of H.R. 1259, which was included in today’s legislation, and applaud my House colleagues for taking this important action that will directly improve the care of America’s veterans.”
(Courtesy of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs)
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 would create a new streamlined and efficient 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 rights and providing them with the ability to appeal the action. It would also provide 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.
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.