The following is an excerpt from BENJAMIN SIEGEL | June 13, 2017 | abcnews.go.com |
The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs Tuesday, sending the measure to the White House for President Trump’s signature.
The bill, passed on a bipartisan 368-55 vote, would make it easier for the VA Secretary to fire department employees, a move that advocates say would improve accountability at the scandal-plagued agency.
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It would also boost protections for whistleblowers that report wrongdoing, and create an office within the VA to support whistleblower protections.
Congress set its sights on VA reform in 2014, after a whistleblower claimed that roughly 40 veterans died waiting up to 21 months for care at a VA hospital in Phoenix. That scandal led to the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in May of 2014.
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