IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 05/24/2017
Contact: Benjamin Peoples
The Center for American Homeless Veterans urges the US Senate to pass S.1094, the “Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017”.
Introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R, FL) on May 11, S.1094 has seen strong bi-partisan support from a handful of Senators. The bill has already been reviewed by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, in a May 17 hearing.
S.1094 would create groundbreaking, sweeping new powers for managers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, including:
· Reducing the time it takes to fire employees not doing their jobs
· Regaining bonuses from employees who have been found guilty of misconduct
· Reducing pensions of VA employees who have committed work related felonies
Institutional Failures Hurting Vets
Reports of incompetency and abuse at the Department of Veterans Affairs are nothing new.
In many investigations the Government Accountability Office (GOA) found the VA has wasted BILLIONS in taxpayers’ money by violating procurement law. The GAO found that VA made 130,000 purchases totaling $7 billion without negotiating for the lowest price, as law requires. 91,000 of the purchase orders did not even list the vendor’s name.
In a 2010 investigation, the GAO uncovered billions of dollars in lost revenue at the Department, findings which the VA’s Inspector General (VAIG) reaffirmed in 2015. Through staff’s failure to charge private health insurance companies, despite collecting copays from veterans, VA loses out on an estimated $6 Billion every year.
Real Solutions to Real Problems
The fiscal waste and staff failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs have become ingrained in the VA’s culture. It will take a concerted effort from outside the Department to reform the attitudes and behaviors of the VA’s 300,000+ employees. S.1094 is that solution.
Since Senator Rubio introduced the bill, S.1094 has since picked up cosponsors including the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R, GA) and Ranking Member Sen. Jon Tester (D, MT). Another 15 Senators have also signed on, including John McCain (R, AZ) and Tammy Baldwin (D, WI).
The passage of this bill would finally allow the American people to hold accountable the employees who are costing our veterans their money, time, and lives.
This is Everyone’s Fight
If you would like to support S.1094, call your Senator and urge them to support this bill. You can find out who your two Senators are, as well as how you can contact their offices, by visiting www.Senate.gov/Senators/Contact.
Passing the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 is a major step in ensuring full accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Should the measures in this bill become law, it will save billions in Americans’ hard earned tax dollars, and will force the VA to finally help the veterans it is meant to serve.
Established in 1993, the Center for American Homeless Veterans has sponsored 196 program/rallies around the nation, highlighting local facilities for homeless veterans, earning massive earned media and drawing over 100 Members of Congress to address the crowds.
Copyright © 2018 Center for American Homeless Veterans - All Rights Reserved.