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Bilirakis: “Turning the Page to a Fresh Start for the VA”

June 13, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Vice Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, applauded today’s passage of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094). The bill enhances the VA Secretary’s ability to remove, demote, or suspend employees for misconduct, and prevents repercussions for whistleblowers.  

Earlier today, Bilirakis took to the House floor to speak in support of the legislation. Please see below for an excerpt of his remarks.

“If a VA employee is involved in misconduct, they should be demoted, suspended, or fired. Certainly not promoted or given a bonus. If a VA employee sees misconduct and wants to report it, they should not fear repercussions.

“Of course, the vast majority of VA employees are hardworking and dedicated professionals. At the end of the day, this bill is about holding the bad actors accountable, protecting the whistleblowers, and refocusing the VA on its missions to serve our nation’s heroes.

“With the passage of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, we are turning the page to a fresh start for the VA.”

The legislation passed the House by a vote of 368 – 55. It was approved by the Senate on June 6, 2017, and will next be sent to the President’s desk for signature.