“Fraud. Abuse. Veterans dying on wait lists,” the ad narrator says. “American heroes deserve better, but our veterans are suffering at the hands of bad VA employees.”
Roe and Rubio’s bill would give the VA secretary expedited removal authority, meaning any employee fired by the secretary would be out of a job and off the department’s rolls that day. Any employee facing removal, suspension of at least 14 days or a demotion would receive advance notice of 10 days, and the secretary would have five days in which to rebut any response the employee comes up with in that time. Those employees would maintain appeal rights to the Merit Systems Protection Board and U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
The bill would allow VA to reduce employees’ pensions if they are convicted of a felony that affected their job and to recoup bonuses and relocation expenses in some circumstances. Employees facing those penalties would also be entitled to an appeal.
The measure would create “new reforms that will hold bad employees accountable and cut undeserved bonuses,” the ad declares. “Reforms that get bad VA employees out — for good.”
“The VA Accountability First Act of 2017 would make it easier to fire employees who engage in misconduct and give the new VA secretary the tools he needs to improve the troubled department,” said CVA Policy Dan Caldwell. Veterans deserve the highest standard of care possible, and right now, our government is failing them.”
Part of CVA’s campaign, a group that has received criticism from other veterans service organizations and employee unions for its ties to the Koch brothers, is launching a digital tool that allows individuals to voice their support for the bill to their representatives.
The House approved a similar bill late last year with a veto-proof majority, though the measure stalled in the Senate. Roe’s committee is scheduled to mark up the bill on Wednesday.