(U.S. Senate) – The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee today voted overwhelmingly to bring Ranking Member Jon Tester’s bipartisan VA accountability reform bill one step closer to becoming law.
Tester’s bill will hold the Department of Veterans’ Affairs more accountable to veterans by allowing VA Secretary David Shulkin to fire bad employees faster and protect whistleblowers from retaliation.
“This bipartisan bill is a product of compromise that will allow the VA to hold bad actors accountable while protecting due process and hardworking VA employees,” said Tester. “Commonsense solutions like this will make the VA stronger for Montana veterans, and I look forward to seeing this bill signed into law with support from Republicans and Democrats.”
The VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will:
- Allow the VA to more quickly fire bad employees without sacrificing due process rights.
- Strengthen protections for whistleblowers.
- Improve VA leadership through training and incentivizing managers to address poor performance.
Tester’s bill will now be debated on the Senate floor by the entire Senate.
Following a hearing to allow feedback from VA officials and veterans service organizations, Tester’s bipartisan bill continues to garner support. Supporters include VA Secretary David Shulkin, the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Military Officers Association of America, AMVETS, Got Your 6, Disabled American Veterans, Reserve Officers Association, Vietnam Veterans of America, National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, the Partnership for Public Service, the Project on Government Oversight and the National Military and Veterans Alliance.
A summary of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act can be found online HERE.