Nicknamed “the ‘You’re Fired’ bill,” the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1094) was signed into law on June 23, to the great relief of veterans who have suffered due to negligent VA employees and practices.
The bill was drafted in response to a 2014 scandal where veterans died waiting for care at the Phoenix VA medical center. Before this bill was passed, VA employees had unfathomable job security due to complicated laws, bureaucracy and well-funded lobbying groups.
“There is nothing more demoralizing than being in an organization, working alongside people that everybody knows no longer shares the values, the morals (and) the ethics of the vast majority of people who go to work every day for the right reasons,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin.
The bill was included in Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America’s (JWV) 2017 Legislative Priorities.
“When I was giving testimony in March, I spoke with Congressman Walz about this bill. He said that they were making efforts on this piece of legislation. I am glad that it has come to fruition,” said JWV National Commander Col. (ret.) Carl Singer. “JWV welcomes this legislation, and we hope that it brings positive changes for our veterans in need of care.”
By Anna Selman
Anna Selman is the programs and public relations coordinator for Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attends Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim.