Congress Passes VA Accountability First Act Including Kuster Provision
**Congresswoman Kuster’s provision would improve protections for whistleblowers within the VA**
**You can view Kuster’s remarks in support of her amendment from earlier this year HERE**
(Washington, DC) - Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, supported passage of the VA Accountability First Act of 2017. This legislation would give the Veterans Affairs Department the authority to fire, demote, or suspend employees for poor performance or misconduct using an expedited process. The bill includes provisions from an amendment introduced by Kuster that would strengthen VA whistleblower protections. Kuster’s amendment was adopted in the House-passed version of the legislation earlier this year.
“We know there needs to be a change at the VA and ensuring employees who impede the mission of the agency are held accountable is critical,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This legislation is an important step toward rooting out those employees who have undermined care for our veterans. I’m pleased that provisions from my amendment to protect the rights of whistleblowers and improve the training of VA supervisors in whistleblower rights were included in the final version of the bill. These protections are important to ensuring that if a VA employee sees something wrong they’ll be able to come forward without fear.”
Kuster’s provision would make supervisors more responsible for the effective performance of their employees by improving training of supervisors to include training on whistleblower rights.
Congresswoman Kuster has served on the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee since taking office in 2013, and has served as the Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee since 2015. As Ranking Member, she pushes for increased transparency at the VA and helps to lead the charge in Washington on the need to improve access to care for veterans across the country. The daughter of a WWII veteran, Congresswoman Kuster has long advocated for the needs of New Hampshire veterans, and she frequently holds veteran roundtables, forums, and job fairs for Granite State veterans across the district.