Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of the VA Accountability Act, H.R. 1994, which would provide the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) increased flexibility in removing poor-performing VA employees, provide improved protections for whistleblowers, and strengthen accountability and performance measures for senior executives.
“Last year, Congress gave the Secretary of the VA greater authority to fire the employees responsible for the agency’s mismanagement, but in that time, few VA employees have been fired. Despite increased funding from Congress, many of the structural problems exposed last year still persist. The VA’s culture of bureaucracy and paper-pushing continues to impede the care our veterans have earned. This is entirely unacceptable. Some VA employees are continuing to fail our veterans, and we must do more to hold them accountable for their actions, while ensuring those who expose problems are not unjustly penalized.
“We have an obligation to take care of those who have taken care of us, and it is our responsibility to make sure they receive the highest level of care. It is my sincere hope that this bill will serve as an important step toward greater care for our veterans by holding the VA accountable for its actions. Earlier this month, I introduced the bipartisan VALOR Act to require the VA to undergo an independent audit by a non-governmental entity every other year to ensure that we maintain pressure on the agency to change its ways. We in the House remain committed to holding the VA accountable and ensuring our veterans receive the level of care and service worthy of their tremendous sacrifice. I urge the Senate and the President to join our efforts. ”
NOTE: Congressman Hurt recently introduced H.R. 3122, the Veterans Administration Legislative and Objective Review (VALOR) Act, to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to undergo a biannual, independent audit by a third-party entity. You can read more about that bipartisan oversight legislation HERE.