My Take: Important Steps to Help Veterans
I often hear from veterans in the 12th District about their dealings with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – both good and bad. That is why I am proud to support legislation in the House which takes important steps to help our veterans.
While there are many hardworking and dedicated employees at the VA, including many veterans themselves, the current system makes it too hard to hold poor-performing employees accountable. The result is inadequate services for veterans and difficulty in retaining talented employees.
To address this, I supported the VA Accountability First Act, which allows the VA to fire, demote or suspend employees for poor performance or misconduct. Where similar legislation focused only on holding VA executives accountable, this legislation applies to all VA employees. In addition, I voted to empower the Secretary of the VA to better hire and retain physicians and other employees to make sure the VA can attract and keep the best talent to provide the best care for our veterans.
I also voted for the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which ensures the freedoms granted by the Constitution apply to all Americans – especially those who defend those freedoms. Current law prohibits veterans from owning a firearm without due process if they are labeled by a VA bureaucrat as “mentally incompetent” – which can surprisingly happen when the VA appoints someone to help with the veteran’s financial affairs. This legislation requires a ruling from a judge to make that determination instead. In doing so, we can guarantee veterans the rights they defended in uniform.
Member of Congress