The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee leadership for reaching a bipartisan deal today that will better protect whistleblowers and hold employees accountable for their conduct or performance. The need for action follows a federal appellate court decision this week that rendered unconstitutional the process used to fire the former director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

 VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin said the Tuesday ruling “underscores yet again the need for swift congressional action to afford the secretary effective and defensible authority to take timely and meaningful action against VA employees whose conduct or performance undermines veterans’ trust in VA care or services.”

“Accountability must be a two-way street,” stressed VFW National Commander Brian Duffy, “and we salute VA Committee Chairmen Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), and their ranking members, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), as well as Senator Rubio, for their work on a bipartisan, bicameral, and comprehensive accountability bill.” Duffy is now asking the 1.7 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary to urge their respective members of Congress to support and quickly pass S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.

“The VFW wants Secretary Shulkin to have the authority to manage his people in a manner expected of all senior executives, public or private,” he said. “The VFW wants the secretary to weed out the nonperformers and those whose personal conduct brings doubt and dishonor upon thousands of dedicated employees. And the VFW wants this bill passed into law, because maintaining the status quo doesn’t work for those who have borne the battle.

 

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