President Donald Trump signs VA accountability bill, another campaign promise kept

During a ceremony in the White House East Room, President Trump signed a bill on Friday to make it easier to fire Department of Veterans Affairs employees for incompetent performance.  The bill was motivated into existence by a 2014 scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, where veterans died while waiting for care.

This bill marks yet another fulfilled promise that President Trump made as a candidate for President of the United States to fire VA workers “who let our veterans down.”  The bill cleared the house with a vote of 366-55, and the Senate by voice vote.

Rep. Phil Roe, who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said that the legislation was “a necessary first step in overhauling the VA.”  Expanding access to doctors outside the VA is also on the agenda for our veterans.  Roe, said “For far too long, the failures of the bad actors have tarnished the good name of all VA employees.”  “No effort toward real, wholesale reform at the department will ever be successful absent a strong culture of accountability first.”

The accountability bill was three years in the making as many scandals were uncovered at the VA.  House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. said, “We’ve been talking about this for about three years. And we uncovered all the scandals at the VA, now we’re making law.”   VA Secretary David Shilkin, who identified the employee accountability process as “clearly broken” was also among the backers of the bill.  I really makes you wonder did the former Democratic administration care at all about our Veterans.

The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, opposed the bill.  However, President Trump praised the legislation when it passed the Senate last week, urging the House on Twitter to “get this bill to my desk ASAP!”

Dan Caldwell, policy director of the conservative Concerned Veterans for America, said “Veterans across the country can look forward to a new culture of accountability and integrity at the VA.”  Caldwell lobbied for years for this legislation to pass and it could not have come at the helm of a better person than President Donald Trump!

Diamond and Silk celebrate the passing of such an awesome piece of legislation, and we thank all of our Veterans and their service to our country. God Bless You, and God Bless the United States of America.