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Bilirakis Announces Support for VA Accountability First Act

March 1, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) announced his continued commitment in reforming the VA and holding failing employees accountable as a cosponsor of the VA Accountability First Act, legislation to provide the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with the necessary tools to increase accountability and transparency.

“We owe our Veterans a debt that can never truly be repaid, but we can start by helping ensure they receive the treatment they deserve. If a VA employee fails in their duty to care for Veterans, they should be removed from their post no matter how senior their position. The VA Accountability First Act means our nation’s heroes come first,” said Bilirakis.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, it can take a year or longer to fire a federal employee. The bill would remove those bureaucratic road blocks, and allow the VA Secretary more flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee, including senior level managers, for poor performance or misconduct. It would also ensure improved protections for whistleblowers, and provide the authority to recoup bonuses from those failed employees.  

Bilirakis is the Vice Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee where this legislation will be considered. More information on the bill can be found here.