"I just want to say two very simple words: Thank you", Trump said to USA veterans.
Congressman Daniel Webster is applauding the signage of the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which was signed by President Donald Trump this week and makes it easier for the VA to fire under-performing employees. "The bill also establishes the Office of Accountability, which forbids the VA Secretary from retaliating against whistleblowers who have filed complaints within the VA general counsel's office". What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls.
"Those entrusted with the sacred duty of serving our veterans will be held accountable for the care they provide", Mr. Trump said.
At the VA medical center in the southwestern city of Phoenix, Arizona, some veterans died in 2014 while awaiting treatment. The VA is the government's second-largest department, providing health care and other services to millions of veterans.
Federal employee unions opposed the measure.
WTKR notes that the bill received bipartisan support in Congress, where it passed with a vote of 368-55 in the House of Representatives.
"Although marketed as a bill to make it easier to fire bad employees, the proposals are created to kill off and bury the apolitical Civil Service", AFGE President David Cox, Sr. said at a May 17 Senate hearing. It will also increase protections for whistleblowers to help make certain that they are not retaliated against for speaking up about wrongdoings at the department. The Senate passed the bill by voice vote a week earlier.
Right now, it takes up to 264 days for an appeal to move through the process when trying to remove a bad employee. It lowers the standard of evidence needed to fire employees. "It's a reform that I campaigned on, and now I am thrilled to be able to sign that promise into law", Trump said.
"The ultimate goal is nothing less than a transformation of the culture within the VA so that our veterans receive the best care possible", McCarthy said.
"As you all know - all too well - for many years, the government failed to keep its promises to our veterans", Mr. Trump said, saying "we are just getting started" on major changes to the VA, one of his central campaign promises in 2016.