Trump signs law to make VA more accountable for vets' care

"We're taking care of our veterans and we're taking care of them properly", said the President, as he signed the bill at a White House ceremony.

"What happened was a national disgrace and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls", Trump said. "This historic bill is a significant step forward in the fight to correct the toxic VA culture and get veterans a step closer to the care they deserve", added CVA Executive Director Mark Lucas.

The Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act is created to bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs by expediting the firing process for poorly performing employees, and ensuring appropriate protections for whistleblowers.

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"As you all know all too well, for many years the government failed to keep its promises to our veterans".

The law marks the second time Congress has tried to change the disciplinary process at the VA. The VA is the second-largest department in the United States government, with more than 350,000 employees, and it is charged with providing health care and other services to military veterans.

The law, which won bipartisan support in both the Senate and House, comes after years of stories about chaos inside the VA, including CNN investigations in 2013 and 2014 that found dozens of veterans died or were seriously injured because of long wait times at hospitals across the country.

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Unions representing some VA workers, including the American Federation of Government Employees, are concerned the measure could be abused for political reasons. Shulkin, who served as an undersecretary in the VA in the Obama administration, supports the legislation Trump signed Friday. The law also shortens the review period for new hires and offers protections to employees who complain about wrongdoing within the agency. But the Senate-passed measure was seen as more in balance with workers' rights than a version passed by the House in March, mostly along party lines.

"The ultimate goal is nothing less than a transformation of the culture within the VA so that our veterans receive the best care possible", McCarthy said. Our first action is to remove inappropriate regulations that make it impossible to hold accountable those VA employees who do not provide our veterans with the quality of service they have earned.

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