Tags: VA Scandal | Veterans | Johnny Isakson | Denies | VA Reforms | Unions

Sen. Johnny Isakson Denies VA Reforms Went to Union First

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 02:56 PM

Sen. Johnny Isakson Thursday defended the bipartisan legislation package he has drafted to reform the Veterans Affairs Department, denying accusations by Fox News' Pete Hegseth and other critics that the legislation went first to unions representing the VA workers who would be held accountable for misconduct before heading to the Senate floor.

"It was written by members of the committee and not by the union," the Georgia Republican told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "Twelve unions have come out against it. The fact is, it contains 148 provisions introduced by members of the Senate, House, and Republican to reform the Veterans Administration."

The bill puts enforcement measures in place for the VA's senior executive management, reduces the merit system protection board and shortens the appeals times, he continued, and "that's pretty good reform."

Hegseth on Monday complained that the VA helped write the bill, and on Thursday, with Isakson on the program, did not back down on his opposition.

"This is a bill that when it was originally released it went first to the unions," said Hegseth. "They made public objections and then the authors of the bill, gave in and diluted the bill. There's some new accountability for senior executives, but for 99.9 percent of VA employees, the way they are hired and fired will not change under this bill.

"There are no meaningful ways in which the choice provision is changed so veterans are not going to get additional choice outside of the VA."

Hegseth argued that the unions do support the bill, and that "any bill they support is not a bill of real accountability and reform."

Isakson extended an open invitation to Hegseth to attend open committee meetings to discuss the matter, as "we take input from everybody," and told the news reporter, who is a veteran, that his input would be helpful.

"We're working for veterans, not each other," said Isakson. "I'll work with anybody. Pete Hegseth or anyone else, you're wrong to represent that it doesn't enhance choice, first payment and primary payment, private pay to improve the participation, this does a long way to do what we want to do. I want to work with the men and women who risked their lives for America."

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Sen. Johnny Isakson Thursday defended the bipartisan legislation package he has drafted to reform the Veterans Affairs Department, denying accusations by Fox News' Pete Hegseth and other critics that the legislation went first to unions representing the VA workers...
Johnny Isakson, Denies, VA Reforms, Unions
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2016-56-30
Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 02:56 PM
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