Press Releases

Washington, D.C – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dean Heller (R-NV), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Jon Tester (D-MT), ranking member of the committee, and others. The Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will increase accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by expediting the removal process for poorly performing employees and ensuring appropriate protections for whistleblowers. The legislation also prohibits the VA from awarding bonuses to employees who have been found guilty of wrongdoing.

Currently, the VA does not have the ability to swiftly remove bad actors and instead often places them on administrative leave until a final decision is reached. The current lengthy employment termination process for poorly-performing employees allows them to continue collecting a paycheck, which is a disservice to veterans and the VA’s employees who are working hard to serve them.

“I applaud the Senate’s passage of the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, a commonsense bill that will bring much-needed accountability to the VA,” said Heller. “If you’re not doing your job, then you shouldn’t be paid, and if there is anywhere that this should be enforced – it’s the VA. Our bill ensures that the VA’s employees are working on behalf of the veterans they’re employed to serve. Today’s approval of the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act is the result of a strong bipartisan effort, and I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on the Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee to see that it becomes law.”

In May, this legislation passed out of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, of which Heller is a senior member representing Nevada’s 300,000 veterans.

 

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