The Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs sent a letter last week to the Senate VA Committee Chairman making the case for legislation that would make it easier to fire federal employees who work for the VA.
The letter, which was written by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), called on the Senate to pass the VA Accountability Act (H.R. 1994 and S. 1082) . It listed numerous veterans groups that support the bill and noted that it easily passed the House due to its support.
“The reason all of the aforementioned [veterans] groups support making it easier for VA to discipline all employees is because right now it is essentially impossible to do so,” the letter said.
“In fact, since H.R. 1994 passed the House and S. 1082 cleared your committee, we have continuously seen instance after instance in which the VA has failed to provide meaningful discipline for employees that, by any measure of common sense, do not deserve to be employed at the Department [of Veterans Affairs]. In one incident, the VA was not able to sustain the firing of an employee in Puerto Rico who participated in an armed robbery and, according to media reports, the employee even collected back pay for time she spent in jail.”
The letter went on to say that the House Committee is concerned that the Senate Committee has halted negations and may be trying to broker a deal without actually addressing the problems that plague the agency currently.
A copy of the letter is included below.