Trump signs bill making it easier to fire VA employees

Trump signs bill making it easier to fire VA employees

Trump signs bill making it easier to fire VA employees

At the VA medical center in the southwestern city of Phoenix, Arizona, some veterans died in 2014 while awaiting treatment.

Trump held up the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 after signing it into law on June 23, 2017.

"What happened was a national disgrace and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls", Trump said. "We all remember the nightmare that veterans suffered during the VA scandals that were exposed a few years ago", Trump said.

While holding private-sector employees accountable is common, many government employees - particularly those working at the Department of Veterans Affairs - have abused the system.

In addition to making it easier to get rid of under performing employees, the bill also establishes protections for Whistle Blowers from retaliation. VA Secretary David Shulkin, an Obama administration holdover, stood alongside Trump as the president jokingly suggested he'd have to invoke his reality TV catchphrase "You're fired" if the reforms were not implemented.

WTKR notes that the bill received bipartisan support in Congress, where it passed with a vote of 368-55 in the House of Representatives.

The bill also would allow the VA to take back bonuses paid to employees found guilty of misconduct and would prohibit employees who are appealing discipline from being placed on paid administrative leave.

"Although marketed as a bill to make it easier to fire bad employees, the proposals are created to kill off and bury the apolitical Civil Service", AFGE President David Cox, Sr. said at a May 17 Senate hearing.

"So many great Veterans Service Organizations across the country supported this legislation and I am grateful for their help in getting it passed and signed into law". The Senate bill calls for a longer appeal process than the House version - 180 days versus 45 days. "It makes it just as easy to fire a good employee, an innocent employee, as it will be to fire a bad employee".

President Donald Trump (2nd L), first lady Melania Trump (L), and Vice President Mike Pence (R) applaud during a Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday in Washington, DC.

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