Press Releases

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes to Improve VA Accountability & Calls for Secretary ShinsekiÍs Resignation

Washington, DC, May 22, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Washington D.C., May 22, 2014 | comments

Congressman Bridenstine:

Yesterday I voted for HR 4013, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act, legislation to hold senior managers at the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for managing the agency properly.  Long-standing reports of mismanagement, including the tragic deaths of 40 veterans in Phoenix waiting for medical care and other waiting list fraud, have prompted calls for firing the responsible VA officials.

The problem is that firing senior government officials cumbersome because of bureaucratic red tape.  The federal Senior Executive Service (SES) was established in 1978 in a well-intentioned attempt to develop a cadre of senior level federal agency managers.  A performance-based removal of an SES employee is difficult.  This legislation enables the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to remove an SES manager for cause, bypassing the existing SES process. 

As a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, I am appalled at the incompetent way that many senior VA officials have treated our veterans.  Those who cannot do the job should be fired -- bureaucratic red tape should not stand in the way.  HR 4013 will make it easier to hold senior VA officials accountable. 

I also cosponsored a resolution calling for Secretary Shinseki to resign.  His failed leadership and poor oversight have led to the tragic and avoidable deaths of some of our nationÍs finest.  Good management would require his resignation.


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