WASHINGTON (Network Indiana): Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly says a VA bill signed into law Friday by President Trump will bring “needed change” to the agency.
The law was prompted by news reports of long waits at VA hospitals and workers falsifying records to cover them up. It makes it easier to fire employees for misconduct, and makes permanent a whistleblower protection office created during the Obama Administration.
“This kind of legislation makes the VA a more accountable, more streamlined organization,” Donnelly says.
The law also allows the VA to rescind employee bonuses for poor performance or misconduct. And the VA can go outside normal civil service hiring procedures, a step Donnelly says will make it easier to bring in people with private-sector health care management experience.
Donnelly says the VA needs to be more willing to listen to ideas from frontline employees for making its hospitals run better.
The bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and passed the House 368-55. Representative Andre Carson (D-7th) was the only member of Indiana’s House delegation to vote “no.”