Ranking Member Bost Slams Democrats’ Bill That Would Undercut VA Secretary’s Authority and Responsibility to Veterans
Washington, December 15, 2022 | Kathleen McCarthy
Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1948, the VA Employee Fairness Act of 2021:
“I am disappointed that House Democrats ignored Republicans’ sincere concerns with the bill they forced through the House at the last minute today. We can all agree that the Secretary’s core mission – regardless of who is in the White House – is to ensure veterans are receiving the safe, good care and services they have earned. This bill directly undercuts the Secretary’s ability to do that,” said Ranking Member Bost. “It’s simple: Congress should not remove the Secretary’s responsibility to veterans and begin allowing non-medical third-party arbitrators to decide issues of direct patient care and clinical competence at VA. Veterans deserve better.”
H.R. 1948 would amend Title 38 U.S.C. §7422 to allow Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees to engage in collective bargaining over issues of direct patient care, clinical competence, peer review, and the establishment, determination, or adjustment of employee compensation. The bill would also remove the Secretary’s ability to be the final say regarding decisions in each of these areas, which would limit the Secretary’s ultimate accountability and responsibility for the delivery of care and to ensure the highest level of patient safety at VA.