US House passes bill to make it easier to fire VA workers, prote - | WBTV Charlotte

US House passes bill to make it easier to fire VA workers, protect whistle blowers

Source: Congressman Hudson's Office Source: Congressman Hudson's Office
CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) -

On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC-08), the representative of Fort Bragg and author of bipartisan legislation to allow service connected veterans to choose care from private providers in their local communities, released the following statement after the House passed S. 1094, legislation to make it easier to fire Veterans Affairs (VA) employees for poor performance or misconduct and to establish whistle blower protections:

“I recognize there are many good, hard-working people at our local VA hospitals – many of them are veterans themselves. It’s the unaccountable bureaucracy that hurts veterans and makes it impossible for them to get the timely care and benefits they deserve. What’s more, VA employees who are responsible for the backlogs, lying or manipulating wait times aren’t held accountable. Only in Washington would it take an act of Congress to fire employees who aren’t doing their jobs, and today we’re getting it done. The bottom line is, if a VA employee can’t do their job right or they mislead and falsify wait-times and put veterans’ lives at risk, they should be held accountable or fired. Today’s legislation will empower the VA secretary to do just that.”

On Tuesday the House passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094), which grants the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) additional authority to remove, demote or suspend employees due to poor performance or misconduct, recoup bonuses and awards, increase whistleblower protections, and reform the appeals process for veteran benefits.

The bill now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.

North Carolina is home to more than 700,000 veterans, and taking care of these retired service members and their families is one of Rep. Hudson’s top responsibilities, according to a press release from Hudson's office. 

"As always, Rep. Hudson’s office stands ready to assist every veteran in our district with problems they are having with the VA or a federal agency," the release says.

If a veteran in the 8th district needs assistance, please contact the office in Concord at (704) 786-1612 or the office in Fayetteville at (910) 997-2070.

Copyright 2017 WBTV.  All rights reserved.

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