Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC) passed Chairman Roe’s (R-TN) VA Accountability First Act (HR 1259). IAVA strongly supports this legislation and we have asked Congress to swiftly pass it into law and bring long overdue reform to the VA. Read our support letter here.
It has been nearly three years since the scandal in Phoenix alerted the country to the outrageous state of the VA health care system. And yet not enough has been done to ensure that the VA is equipped with the necessary authorities to address workforce accountability. The large majority of VA employees serve veterans with distinction, and many are veterans themselves, but the VA Secretary must have the ability to swiftly remove employees whose poor performance or, at worst, gross negligence, put veterans at risk. This is a critical part in restoring and continuing to ensure trust within the VA system. This legislation provides VA leadership those necessary authorities while ensuring due process.
In supporting H.R. 1259, we ask that all Members of Congress commit to passing meaningful VA reform in the 115th Congress. In the 114th Congress, too often the opportunity to pass such legislation was lost because of minor disagreements over certain policy aspects. As a result, despite the bipartisan consensus in Congress that such reform was, and still is, desperately needed, this nation’s veterans are still awaiting comprehensive reform.
Veterans have made great sacrifices in service to our nation. IAVA is committed to working towards a VA that provides them with first class, quality, timely care. We will continue to support efforts to not only hold low performing employees accountable, but also ensure that the VA has the ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest workforce to VA to achieve this goal.