Smucker Votes to Hold VA Officials Accountable

March 17, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) is working to provide more accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs and deliver better health care to our nation’s veterans. With Rep. Smucker’s support, the House passed the bipartisan VA Accountability First Act and a bipartisan bill to improve the authority of the VA Secretary to hire and retain physicians.
 
“It is impossible to quantify the sacrifice our veterans have made in defense of our nation,” said Rep. Smucker. “We owe them our unwavering gratitude and support. These bills are just a few ways we can help ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs is held accountable and appropriately staffed to meet the needs of the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to further modernize and reform our government so that it is more accountable to every American.”
 
Rep. Smucker also voted for the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which would ensure veterans do not lose their 2nd Amendment rights simply because the Department of Veterans Affairs appoints someone to manage their affairs.
 
Background
 
H.R. 1259 – The VA Accountability First Act
 
Despite the serious misconduct and mismanagement by employees at the VA, it can take several months, or even more than a year, to remove a permanent civil servant. Introduced by Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (TN-01), the VA Accountability First Act gives the Secretary of Veterans Affairs increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for performance or misconduct. The bill also allows the secretary to reduce benefits for employees convicted of crimes and to rescind bonuses to employees engaged in misconduct of poor performance. To prevent retaliation against employees, the bill ensures protections for whistleblowers.
 
H.R. 1367 – To improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes
 
Introduced by Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), this bipartisan bill improves the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ability to identify staffing shortages, recruit and retain high-quality employees, and quickly on-board new hires.
 
H.R. 1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act
 
Today, if the VA appoints a fiduciary to manage a veteran’s benefits, the veteran is labeled mentally incompetent and the VA automatically sends those names to the FBI’s National Criminal Background Check System. In order to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of our veterans, Chairman Roe introduced this bill to ensure that veterans are given due process and that a judicial authority make a determination if an individual is a danger to themselves or others.

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