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House Vote Sends VA Accountability Bill to President Trump

Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) praised today’s final passage of the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. The Senate passed the bill on June 6, 2017 and it now heads to President Trump, whose advisors have recommended he sign the bill.

“For years, problems at the VA have prevented our nation’s veterans from getting the high-quality of care they deserve,” Shimkus said. “The legislation the House passed today is an important step in ensuring the VA is held accountable.”

The landmark legislation creates a streamlined process to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee, including senior executives, for poor performance or misconduct on the job. It also provides more protections for whistleblowers and bars the VA from using their new removal authority if an employee has an open whistleblower case.

“These necessary and common-sense reforms are long overdue,” added Shimkus. “I applaud my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for working together to create a culture of accountability at the VA, as well as President Trump and Secretary Shulkin for pushing for these critical reforms.”

In addition to the bill passed today, the House Appropriations Committee this week unveileda $4 billion funding increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 2018, including $8.4 billion for mental health services, $7.3 billion for homeless veterans’ programs, and $186 million for suicide prevention initiatives.

More information on the accountability legislation can be found