Trump signs 'historic' bill to transform VA

Share

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.

Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content - we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment.

While holding private-sector employees accountable is common, many government employees - particularly those working at the Department of Veterans Affairs - have abused the system.

"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. The bill cleared the House last week by a vote of 368-55, and the Senate by voice vote.

More news: Bank of England chief downplays chance of interest rate hike

In addition to making it easier to get rid of under performing employees, the bill also establishes protections for Whistle Blowers from retaliation.

Shulkin pushed for this kind of reform bill during his confirmation process and in the first months of his tenure, arguing that the department was "still in critical condition" and more accountability was needed to improve the treatment veterans receive. "And this is the big one, it allows for the Secretary of Veterans Administration to fire employees". But the Senate-passed measure was seen as more in balance with workers' rights than a version passed by the House in March, mostly along party lines.

The Veterans Affairs bill was backed by Shulkin, who had called the department's employee accountability process "clearly broken". I thank President Trump and Secretary Shulkin for their unwavering commitment to our nation's heroes, and it is an honor to stand with them on this historic day.

The bill also turns another of Trump's campaign into law by creating a permanent VA accountability office, which Trump established by executive order in April. "We all remember the nightmare that veterans suffered during the VA scandals that were exposed a few years ago", Trump said.

President Donald Trump signs the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington.

Share