This is the time for big, bold VA reform

Did you know the House passed major Department of Veterans Affairs reform?

That’s what House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) recently shared with Pete Hegseth on the Brian Kilmeade Show.

As Chair McMorris Rodgers highlighted, the House recently passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. President Trump signed it into law the following week.

Our goal with this bill was simple: protect whistleblowers, and give the Secretary of the VA the authority to fire, demote or suspend VA employees who don’t do their jobs.

Want to learn more about these reforms and other House action this year? Visit www.DidYouKnow.gop. Then, click below to listen to the Chair’s interview:

IT’S TIME FOR REFORM

“I believe we need to be continuing to focus on how we get the VA back…on its mission to put the veterans first…I’m proud of the work we’ve already done in the House, passing several bills that will continue to hold the VA accountable.

“We passed the [Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017], allowing the VA to fire, demote, suspend VA employees that aren’t doing their job. There are a lot of great employees, but unfortunately there’s been a number of examples where employees that have been involved in bad behavior will get transferred to another VA, or they’ll get a promotion.”


VETERANS SHOULD HAVE OPTIONS

“My goal is to…allow the veterans decide where they want to get their care. If they want to go to the VA, that is great. There are some things that the VA does extraordinarily well, and we want them to be the center of excellence…but we also want veterans that are having trouble getting an appointment, or want to seek care in the community, to be able to do so. I represent a very rural part. I have Spokane, but then I represent people, veterans that live all the way up near the Canadian border down to the Oregon border in remote areas and it would serve them better if they could go to a local provider and get that care.”


WHITE HOUSE, CONGRESS ARE PARTNERS IN REFORM

“I’ve had encouraging conversations with [VA] Secretary Shulkin. He is on board, he wants to be a reformer, be a leader, in getting focused on the veteran, including some of the reforms that we’ve been talking about. Also the new chairman in the committee in the House, Dr. Phil Roe. He’s worked at the VA, he’s a doctor, and he knows it from the inside, and I’ve found him to be very responsive.”


WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR BIG, BOLD REFORM

“…unfortunately it’s become acceptable at the VA to treat veterans more like a number rather than to say ‘we’re here to help. We’re here to roll out the red carpet for you. We’re so grateful for your service.’ This is the way a grateful nation shows its gratitude to those who’ve served. And we all recognize that, right? These are the men and women who put their lives on the line for us and yet so often they’ll contact the VA and they get the runaround. This is our moment when we need to do the big, bold reform that will restructure, get the VA focused on what it does best, offer veterans the same choice that [other] Americans have as far as getting their care in the community.”