On Monday, Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) announced the launch of a new campaign aimed at pushing Congress to support the newly-introduced VA Accountability First Act of 2017. The act was introduced by Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) in February and looks to “make it easier to terminate bad employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and help bring a new culture of accountability to the broken department.” The CVA released a national web ad to implore citizens across the country to call their Congressmen and ask them to support the bill.
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“Fraud. Abuse. Veterans dying on wait lists. American heroes deserve better, but our veterans are suffering at the hands of bad VA employees,” the ad narrator says. “Congress can change it by passing the VA Accountability First Act of 2017. New reforms that will hold bad employees accountable and cut undeserved bonuses. Reforms that get bad VA employees out – for good.”
CVA said in a press release that the campaign is meant to specifically target constituents who live in the districts of representatives such as Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH), Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), and Rep. Tim Walz (D-MC) who serve on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, as well as others who have voted in support of similar legislation in the past. CVA is also taking it a step further by launching a “digital tool” which will help citizens easily contact their Congressmen through a variety of means.
CVA says that the VA Accountability First Act of 2017 would “drastically shorten the overall termination and appeals process for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees who are found to have engaged in misconduct,” a process they say now takes “months or even years.”
“The bill also empowers the VA Secretary to recoup bonuses awarded in error or given to employees who were later found to have engaged in misconduct,” the CVA said, adding that the bill also “gives the VA Secretary the ability to reduce the pensions of VA employees who are convicted of felonies that influenced their job performance.”