September 14, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act, a package of reforms to improve the quality of treatment veterans receive at the VA. The bill gives the Secretary of the VA more authority to fire poorly performing or convicted employees, reduces perks for senior VA employees, and increases protections for whistleblowers that identify negligent or criminal behavior in a VA facility.
Congressman Peters worked across the aisle to cosponsor and pass similar legislation in July 2015; today’s bill is an updated version that is seen as having a better chance of passing the Senate and becoming law. After voting to pass H.R. 5620, Congressman Peters released the following statement:
“Our veterans have earned access to timely, high-quality health care. Keeping this promise is not only a matter of resources; it also depends on changing the culture of the VA. From top to bottom, it has to be about serving the veteran, not the bureaucracy.
“These reforms will ensure that poorly performing or negligent employees are held accountable for their actions and not allowed to lower the standard of service our veterans should expect. The improved whistleblower protections will also give more incentive for employees to call out careless or criminal behavior that we have unfortunately seen at VAs across the country.
“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill so the Secretary of the VA can implement it and continue the work of getting our veterans the care they have earned in service to our country.”