Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson this week supported legislation to improve hiring practices at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and to protect the Second Amendment Rights of veterans.
H.R. 1259, the VA Accountability First Act, gives the VA Secretary increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend VA employees for performance or misconduct. This bill was introduced to streamline administrative action against underperforming employees at VA facilities. The bill also ensures protections for whistleblowers.
“Our nation’s veterans deserve the best possible healthcare, administered by the best possible providers,” said Simpson. “I applaud efforts to hold bad actors accountable, and this legislation will help the VA do just that.”
H.R. 1367, a bill to improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire and retain physicians and other employees of VA, would create staffing, recruitment, and retention programs to ensure that VA hires and retains the best and brightest in the field.
“This legislation will ensure that VA is hiring and retaining top quality physicians for our veterans while streamlining bureaucratic hiring processes,” said Simpson. “It puts our focus exactly where it should be—providing efficient and effective medical care to veterans.”
H.R. 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, would protect the 2nd Amendment rights of veterans who have been appointed a fiduciary from the VA. Currently, such veterans are labeled mentally incompetent and their names are sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Criminal Background Check System. This has the potential to prohibit these veterans from legally purchasing or owning a firearm. H.R. 1181 would require a magistrate or judicial authority ruling declaring that the beneficiary is a danger to themselves or others before VA can label them “mentally defective.”
“The right to due process should be afforded to all citizens, especially to the men and women who protect this right for their fellow Americans,” emphasized Simpson.
All three bills were passed by the House of Representatives and will now move to the U.S. Senate for further review and action.