WASHINGTON – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement today regarding House passage of two Veteran related bills.
Image Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – northtexas.va.gov“The men and women who have made – and are still making – tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom deserve access to high quality care and services. In 2014, troubling reports of widespread neglect and mistreatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) unveiled that our nation’s veterans were not receiving access to quality care they deserve. Quality care means employees who care, and if employees are not serving our veterans, they need to go. For too long, it has been nearly impossible to fire employees who are not serving our veterans. While the House passed a bill in 2014 to make it easier to fire some VA employees, it is important that all VA employees be held accountable to the standard required for our veterans. The VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094), which passed with bipartisan support, grants the secretary of the VA additional authority to expeditiously remove employees due to poor performance or misconduct, recoup bonuses and awards, and improve whistleblower protections. It is my hope that this legislation will help the department finally get rid of the bad actors that tarnish the great work being done by the dedicated men and women who work at the VA.
“To help meet the principle that our veterans should have the ability to access the best care possible, the House also passed the VETERAN Act (H.R. 2372), which codifies the Internal Revenue Service’s current practice of providing eligible veterans the choice to get financial support for a private plan in lieu of enrolling in health care provided by the VA.
“While the VETERAN Act heads to the Senate, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration for the brave men and women who have sacrificed to make our country and the world a better, safer place to live.”