06.13.17

Rep. Takano Statement on House Passage of VA Accountability Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the House passed S.1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.

“Ensuring accountability for employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs, without violating their constitutional right to due process, is critical to providing veterans the care and support they have earned. The bill that passed the House today accomplishes that objective far better than previous accountability proposals, and I applaud Members on both sides of the aisle who made this compromise possible.

“This is not the accountability bill I would have written and I’m sure my Republicans colleagues feel likewise. But today’s vote is an important step forward for the VA and the veterans it serves. Today we voted to strengthen whistleblower protections, to maintain existing due process protections, to improve the appeals process, and to respect the current grievance procedures. 

“Passing this bill gives us the opportunity to shift our focus from who is fired from the VA to who is hired at the VA. There are currently nearly 50,000 vacant jobs at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities across the country. Ultimately, the VAs success will depend on its ability to fill these positions with talented and dedicated employees. I look forward to working with my colleagues and with the VA to build a exceptional workforce to care for our veterans."

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