Wittman Votes for Streamlined Appeals Process and Harsher Penalties for Misconduct at the VA

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Provided by Congressman Rob Wittman’s Office

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Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) today supported House passage of H.R. 5620, the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016. This legislation would target misconduct and bolster accountability at all levels by expanding authorities granted to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Secretary would be authorized to reduce the pension of any SES employee who commits wrong-doing within the scope of his or her employment. Additionally, this legislation would offer the Secretary discretion to recoup bonuses and awards (to include all or a portion of relocation expenses) paid to any VA employee who has committed an act of fraud, waste, or malfeasance. Most importantly, this bill would create efficiencies to help Veterans overcome the significant obstacles they face as they navigate the disability benefits appeals process.

“The problems at the VA are persistent and widespread,” Wittman said,” and that’s because there is a culture of complacency when it comes to addressing them. Our Veterans deserve more than the inefficiency, misconduct, and intentional wrongdoing that is rampant at the VA. Every day, I hear from men and women in the First District who have served honorably and yet are blocked from receiving the benefits they have earned because of the significant claims backlog. And more alarming still are reports of extreme misconduct—deception about wait times, armed robbery, intoxication and drug abuse on the job—by VA employees. We can do better, and this bill takes meaningful steps toward restoring accountability at the VA.”

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee.


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