House Bill Would Speed VA Firings As Outcry Grows
WASHINGTON (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki (shin-SEHK'-ee) would be granted more authority to fire or demote senior executives under a bill headed to the House floor for a possible vote today. The measure comes as pressure builds on Capitol Hill to overhaul the beleaguered agency in response to allegations of treatment delays and preventable deaths.
The bill would target about 450 career employees at the VA who serve as hospital directors or executives in the agency's 21 regions.
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller sponsored the measure. The Florida Republican says VA officials who have presided over mismanagement are more likely to receive bonuses or glowing performance reviews than any punishment.
The VA's inspector general says the number of VA facilities being investigated nationwide for problems had expanded to 26 in recent days.