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Sullivan Helps Move VA Accountability Bill Out of Committee


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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thanked his colleagues for voting to advance S. 1094, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, legislation which he cosponsored, out of committee.  

“Two of my primary goals on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee have been ensuring veterans receive the care they have earned, and working to restore their trust in the VA. In my numerous conversations with Secretary Shulkin, we have agreed that requiring greater accountability from VA employees is absolutely essential to achieving these goals,” said Senator Sullivan. “This legislation sets a more reasonable bar for the dismissal or demotion of VA employees that are failing our veterans, and gives the Secretary the tools and flexibility needed to effectively carry out changes that will improve the care our veterans receive. This legislation is long overdue and necessary to begin transforming the culture at the VA. We can’t restore veterans’ trust in the VA overnight, but this bill is a big step in the right direction.” 

The legislation:  

  • 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 veterans 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 Senate floor for consideration.

 

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