June 23, 2017

Ranking Member Walz Applauds Bipartisan Effort As VA Accountability Bill Is Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Today, House Committee on Veterans Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) released the following statement after President Donald Trump signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. The legislation will give the VA Secretary the tools he needs to hold bad employees accountable and will do so in a way that maintains Constitutionally mandated workplace protections for civil servants while also protecting good employees and whistleblowers from retaliation.

“For too long, Secretaries of the VA have been without the tools they need to hold underperforming employees accountable; this bipartisan legislation will finally change that,” Rep. Walz said. “I’d like the thank the bipartisan Members of the Committee on Veterans Affairs, a Committee where partisanship takes a back seat and whose Members will always remain focused on delivering results for our nation’s veterans.”

“There is no doubt this has been a challenging piece of legislation, but thanks to the leadership of Members on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers we were able to find good compromises and come up with a strong piece of legislation that will improve the veteran experience at VA facilities across the country.”  

“When we first met with VA Secretary Shulkin in January, he told us that passing VA accountability was his highest legislative priority for improving care for veterans. Secretary Shulkin has earned our trust and I am proud to send him the tools he needs to fix the parts of the VA that need fixing while protecting good employees and whistleblowers from retaliation.”

“The passage of this legislation culminates years of hard work by Members on both sides of the aisle to find common ground and affect positive change in the lives of millions of veterans across the country. I thank Chairman Roe for his leadership, willingness to compromise, and tireless dedication to our nation’s heroes and their families.”