Bills Would Make Firing, Suing VA Employees Easier

Thursday, 29 May 2014 01:52 PM

By Lisa Degnen

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Many employees of the scandal plagued Veterans Affairs Department may soon find themselves without jobs or sued.

According to the website Government Executive, legislators are taking action over complaints that some veterans may have died during excessive waits for health care.

The House last week passed a bill that will allow immediate firings for executives who haven't behaved properly and a Senate committee passed a measure that will prevent bonuses from being paid out to some of those in the agency.

Also, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey plans to introduce a bill to that would allow veterans to sue VA employees who tampered with their records, according to the website.

Toomey said the legislation would be "no burden to the taxpayer," because those found guilty would have to pay out of their own pockets. He added that emails, memorandums and voicemails would be exposed in court proceedings and enable the public to see the "true extent of secret VA wait lists," according to Government Executive.

Last week, the House passed a bill that would make it easier for the VA to hire or demote executives, Government Executive said in a May 21 story.

"Time is of the essence, for the sake of our veterans who deserve better," Government Executive quoted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as saying last week. "Senior leaders at the VA must be held accountable, and the White House must continue to answer for the treatment of our veterans." The vote was 390-33 in favor.

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