Trump Signs VA Reform, Keeping Promise Made On Campaign Trail

Cheryl Sanders
June 25, 2017

The new law is created to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, while also making it easier to fire problem employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Our wounded warriors have given everything they have to this nation", Trump said at a bill signing ceremony in the White House East Room, "and we owe them everything we have in return".

Legislation President Donald Trump signed to reform the Veterans' Administration will "finally bring integrity and accountability to this scandal-plagued agency and give veterans the medical care they need and deserve", Rep. Peter King said Saturday.

Mr. Verardo said he was prepared when he enlisted for injury or death.

"They represent the very best of us", he said.

The VA has been attempting reforms since 2014, when dysfunction at VA hospitals resulted in several veterans dying while awaiting care.

Shulkin, who served as VA under secretary for health under the Obama administration but was appointed VA Secretary by Trump, said in the past the VA would be forced to take back employees who deviated from the VA's values.

The law marks the second time Congress has tried to change the disciplinary process at the VA.

The VA accountability law will increase the powers of the department secretary, now David Shulkin, to fire employees for misconduct and reduce benefits for hires "convicted of certain crimes".

Supporters and opponents of the bill believe civil servants in other government agencies could use it as a model as they seek to hold employees accountable for misconduct.

"As commander in chief, I will not accept substandard service for our great veterans", he said. "Real accountability would strengthen, not weaken, protections for the rank-and-file employees who are subjected to mismanagement, abuse and political corruption".

Verardo lost two limbs, needed 110 surgeries and years of therapy, but the VA was failing him, Shulkin said.

Federal employee unions opposed the measure.

The President billed today's signing as a campaign promise the wake of scandals at the veterans affairs department in recent years.

"And yet, some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls". And to this day, most of the media has never admitted that one of the goals of the effort was to slide the country toward single-payer without admitting that was their intent.

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