U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
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Recently in Washington

On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, by a vote of 240-175. This legislation prohibits the Veteran’s Administration (VA) from considering any beneficiary who is assisted by a fiduciary as “mentally defective” without a magistrate or judicial authority ruling that the beneficiary is a danger to themselves or others.  The House also passed H.R. 1259, the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, by a vote of 237-178. This legislation provides the VA Secretary increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee, including Senior Executive Service employees, for performance or misconduct.  On Friday, the House passed H.R. 1367, To improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes, by a vote of 412-0. This bill establishes staffing, recruitment and retention programs to enable VA to recruit and retain the very best in the field. This bill also establishes a recruiting database to make high-quality potential employees aware of positions at VA and create opportunities for career training and advancement for current VA employees through fellowship positions and a promotional track for technical experts. Congressman Simpson supported all three bills.

 

Simpson Supports Bill to Improve VA and Protects 2nd Amendment for Veterans

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson 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.

Floor Schedule

MONDAY, MARCH 20TH
On Monday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 1029 - Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Davis / Agriculture Committee)

2)
H.R. 382 - 100 Years of Women in Congress Act (Sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng / Agriculture Committee)

3)
H.R. 1309 - TSA Administrator Modernization Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. John Katko / Homeland Security Committee)

4)
H.R. 1353 - Transparency in Technological Acquisitions Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Rice / Homeland Security Committee)

5)
H.R. 1294 - Reducing DHS Acquisition Cost Growth Act (Sponsored by Rep. John Rutherford / Homeland Security Committee)

6)
H.R. 1297 - Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Technical Corrections Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman / Homeland Security Committee)

7)
H.R. 1249 - DHS Multiyear Acquisition Strategy Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick / Homeland Security Committee)

8)
H.R. 1252 - DHS Acquisition Authorities Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Clay Higgins / Homeland Security Committee)

9)
H.R. 1365 - Department of Homeland Security Acquisition Innovation Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. J. Luis Correa / Homeland Security Committee)

10)
H.R. 1238 - Securing our Agriculture and Food Act (Sponsored by Rep. David Young / Homeland Security Committee)

11)
H.R. 1302 - Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally / Homeland Security Committee)

TUESDAY, MARCH 21ST
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

H.R. 372 - Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar / Judiciary Committee)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22ND AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.

On Friday, no votes are expected in the House. 

H.R. 1101 - Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Sam Johnson / Education and the Workforce Committee)

H.R. ____ - American Health Care Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Diane Black / Budget Committee)


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