A statement given out by the chair of the chamber?s Veterans? Affairs Committee on Tuesday informed that massive veterans reform measures such as new employment rules for seniors and revision of their outside care programs would be in consideration for early next month.
According to Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga, the progress of the issue has been pacing up recently. He added that he is positive that the package will be presented before the House lawmakers for consideration before Memorial Day.
There will be a number of revisions in the legislation by VA officials on program improvements and updates, the revised accountability provisions will be the cornerstone of the efforts, according to Iakson.
At a hearing on Thursday, Iakson informed the VA Secretary Bob McDonald, ?I?m not someone who likes to fire people, but sometimes you have to. I want to give you the ability to hire good people, but I want you also to be able to hold them accountable.?
On the other hand, McDonald has requested for changes in the employment rules for a number of department senior executives to ensure more flexible salary options are presented and the hiring process is made smooth. In addition, they would also be changing the disciplinary rules, making it easier to fire personnel and appealing limits to secretary?s discretion. Most of the lawmakers have supported the idea but officials from the Senior Executive Association have strongly opposed it. The Senior Executive Association holds a large chunk of officials from across the country.
However, to respond to the opposition, McDonald has iterated that the changes would ?treat health care career executives more like their private-sector counterparts,? giving them ?accountability policies comparable to those of the physicians and dentists they lead.?
Because of a number of high profile failures by the department in order to discipline the executives, the proposed move was presented. In addition, lawmakers went ahead blaming ?a culture of corruption? within the federal worker ranks for their issues. On the other hand, workers? advocates have criticized the past congressional moves to change the disciplinary law as the base of this chaos.
Furthermore, Members of the Congress have opposed the VA for their blunders in opposing the new Choice Card Program. The new Choice Card Program was designed to expand the outside care options for veterans.
Including the Choice Card program and a number of other outside care programs, McDonald asked for consolidation while Isakson informed that the lawmakers are supporting the change.
However, the issue of accountability and outside care was the crux of the last major veterans? reforms, which was passed in 2014. A few days after McDonald was confirmed as head of the department, the reform was signed into law.
The move with mixed results, with irregularities on departmental firings and coordination with private physicians while billions were allocated to the cause of hiring physicians.
A number of minor department reforms have been passed by the house officials recently. They want the Senate to include them in the final offerings.
On the other hand, Isakson?s colleague Jeff Miller, R-Fla, House Veterans? Affairs Chairman, announced that he will not be making another run for re=elections this fall.