Newhouse Applauds House Passage of VA Accountability Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act of 2015. Rep. Newhouse cosponsored the VA Accountability Act, which would give the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) increased authority to hold officials at any level accountable if they demonstrate inadequate performance or are found to have engaged in misconduct.
“In light of recent abuses, excessive wait times, and mistreatment of veterans, each and every VA employee must be held to a higher standard,” said Rep. Newhouse. “The VA Accountability Act reforms the Department of Veterans Affairs workforce management rules to allow the dismissal of officials for poor performance or after engaging in misconduct. Bureaucratic inaction that fails to address personnel problems at the VA will no longer be tolerated. This bill makes clear that fulfilling the mission to serve our veterans is the responsibility of VA officials at every level.”
Highlights of H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act of 2015
- Gives the VA Secretary the authority to remove any VA employees who is found to be incompetent or guilty of misconduct – preventing bad actors from remaining on the federal payroll for years.
- Requires that all probationary periods for new VA employees be extended from the current requirement of one year to at least 18 months.
- Strengthens protections for whistleblowers by limiting the Secretary’s authority to remove or demote an employee if they are a whistleblower who has filed a claim with the Office of Special Counsel.
For the text of H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act of 2015, click here.
In addition, on Monday, Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 3216, the Veterans Emergency Treatment (VET) Act to require that every enrolled veteran is afforded the highest level of emergency care at every emergency-capable medical facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). The VET Act would apply the statutory requirements of the Emergency Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to emergency care furnished by the VA to enrolled veterans who arrive at the emergency department of a VA medical facility and indicate an emergency condition exists.
For the text of H.R. 3216, the Veterans Emergency Treatment (VET) Act, click here.