Major VA Accountability Bill Passes the Senate
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thanked his Senate colleagues for voting unanimously to pass S. 1094, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, legislation which Senator Sullivan cosponsored.
“Today’s passage of the VA Accountability Act is good news for veterans in Alaska and all across the United States,” said Senator Sullivan. “We are finally giving the authority for officials at the VA to fire bad actors. The vast majority of VA workers do a great job for our veterans. But too many have lost confidence in the VA, and we need to restore that trust. This legislation is an important step in doing just that.”
- Increases the VA’s authority to remove employees at all levels of the department, shortens the removal process and ensures an individual removed from the VA is not kept on the VA’s payroll while appealing that decision.
- Includes safeguards for whistleblowers against retaliation, as well as greater training for VA supervisors on effective management and the rights of whistleblowers.
- Requires the VA to report to Congress on employee morale, and update members on the effectiveness of the new accountability measures granted to the VA.
In addition to support from Secretary Shulkin, S. 1094 has been endorsed by a number of veteran service organizations, including the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Reserve Officers Association, AMVETS, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, and Concerned Veterans for America.
The legislation now heads to the House for consideration.