Right Hooks

It's Time for Congress to Readdress the VA

Dan Gilmore · Apr. 24, 2015

Enough of this. After Congress awarded millions of dollars to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the nation expected to see some reform. But nothing happened. Wait times are as long as they ever have been, and there are reports that the VA fired fewer people than they claimed a few months ago. Originally, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said he would fire 1,000 VA employees over the wait-time scandal. But in February, McDonald said he fired only 60. That dismal number was later corrected by a VA spokesman down to eight people. Now, The New York Times reports even the VA spokesman was wrong. Only one employee was actually handed a pink slip. NYT writes, “The documents given this month to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, which provided them to The New York Times, show that the department punished a total of eight of its 280,000 employees for involvement in the scandal. One was fired, one retired in lieu of termination, one’s termination is pending, and five were reprimanded or suspended for up to two months.” Pink slips should have been fluttering down like confetti.

In Congress, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) has introduced the VA Accountability Act, which would give the VA more leeway in firing employees who pull off acts like the wait-time scandal. Furthermore, it’s high time for McDonald to start cutting out the rot from the VA, firing some upper-level administrators — maybe starting with himself. More…

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