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house Bill H.R. 1259

Does the VA Need More Flexibility in Firing, Demoting or Suspending Poorly Performing Employees?

Argument in favor

The VA’s leadership needs more flexibility for dealing with employees who have performed poorly, whether it’s firing or suspending them, or recouping bonuses that they didn’t deserve.

Syhuwe's Opinion
···
03/15/2017
I am a disabled veteran who uses the VA for healthcare. I have filed formal complaints against doctors, and those doctors are not punished, and continue working at the VA. As a female veteran of Asian descent, I have met several racist/sexist clerks who have assumed I was just someone's wife, "picked up" during a deployment, instead of the actual veteran, and they treated me with condescension and rudeness. The VA needs to be more scrupulous in who they hire, and be able to fire employees who deserve to be fired, instead of keeping them around.
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Bill's Opinion
···
03/13/2017
I'm a life long union worker. But, I do believe that you should be responsible for your actions. If they merit termination, the union shouldn't be able to get your job back. This bill should allow the proper hearing for the fired person. But, we need to improve the VA for our vets.
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Tafinzer's Opinion
···
03/17/2017
I've had two occasions in the recent past to deal with and work closely With The VA. Both circumstances put me in contact with very underperforming and I daresay incompetent iindividuals. I believe the VA needs much improvement.
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Argument opposed

The rules that constrain federal agencies from easily firing, suspending, or demoting employees are there for a reason and the VA shouldn’t be granted additional authority on those fronts.

Rob's Opinion
···
03/13/2017
I'd argue against firing anyone until the VA is allowed to hire people. They need more employees, not less
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David's Opinion
···
03/15/2017
Can we have some kind of assurance that VA employees will be protected from wrongful termination, especially those that speak out against the people calling the shots? Why doesn't Congress put these kinds of rules in place for themselves? This just looks like another case of blame the workers instead of the bureaucracy that makes the system inefficient.
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OWorthyFool's Opinion
···
03/13/2017
We need to focus on granting the VA more resources and stronger infrastructure to handle the needs of our veterans, not focus on firing people from an already-understaffed agency. There are bigger problems with the VA that should be addressed first.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed March 16th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 237 Yea / 178 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 28th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

Bill Activity

  • action
    Introduced in House
  • referral
    Referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
  • referral
    Referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
  • action
    Reported by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. H. Rept. 115-34, Part I.
  • action
    Committee on Oversight and Government discharged.
  • calendar
    Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 16.
  • action
    Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 198.
  • action
    House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union pursuant to H. Res. 198 and Rule XVIII.
  • action
    The Speaker designated the Honorable Harold Rogers to act as Chairman of the Committee.
  • action
    GENERAL DEBATE - The Committee of the Whole proceeded with one hour of general debate on H.R. 1259.
  • action
    DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions of H.Res. 198, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Roe (TN) Part A amendment No. 1.
  • action
    DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions of H.Res. 198, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Walz Part A amendment No. 2.
  • action
    POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS - At the conclusion of debate on the Walz Part A amendment No. 2, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Walz demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
  • action
    DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 198, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Kuster(NH) Part A amendment No. 4.
  • action
    DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 198, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Taylor Part A amendment No. 6.
  • action
    DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 198, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Tenney Part A amendment No. 7.
  • action
    DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 198, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Kuster(NH) Part A amendment No. 8.
  • action
    DEBATE - Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 198, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Takano Part A amendment No. 9.
  • action
    POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS - At the conclusion of debate on the Takano Part A amendment No. 9, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Takano demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
  • action
    UNFINISHED BUSINESS - The Chair announced that the unfinished business was on adoption of amendments, which had been debated earlier and on which further proceedings had been postponed.
  • action
    The House rose from the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to report H.R. 1259.
  • action
    The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
  • action
    The House adopted the amendment in the nature of a substitute as agreed to by the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
  • action
    Mr. Kihuen moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
  • action
    DEBATE - The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to add language to the bill further defining protections to whistleblowers who file complaints.
  • action
    The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.
  • action
    On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by recorded vote: 189 - 229 (Roll no. 167).
  • vote
    On passage Passed by recorded vote: 237 - 178 (Roll no. 168).
  • action
    Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
  • referral
    Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed March 16th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 237 Yea / 178 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 28th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    I am a disabled veteran who uses the VA for healthcare. I have filed formal complaints against doctors, and those doctors are not punished, and continue working at the VA. As a female veteran of Asian descent, I have met several racist/sexist clerks who have assumed I was just someone's wife, "picked up" during a deployment, instead of the actual veteran, and they treated me with condescension and rudeness. The VA needs to be more scrupulous in who they hire, and be able to fire employees who deserve to be fired, instead of keeping them around.
    Like (199)
    Follow
    Share
    I'd argue against firing anyone until the VA is allowed to hire people. They need more employees, not less
    Like (184)
    Follow
    Share
    As with many other bills, I don't know the subtext. Is this a bill designed to enhance a political party's ability to purge whistleblowers or anti-Trump employees? Or is it truly designed to challenge incompetence?
    Like (218)
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    Can we have some kind of assurance that VA employees will be protected from wrongful termination, especially those that speak out against the people calling the shots? Why doesn't Congress put these kinds of rules in place for themselves? This just looks like another case of blame the workers instead of the bureaucracy that makes the system inefficient.
    Like (140)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm a life long union worker. But, I do believe that you should be responsible for your actions. If they merit termination, the union shouldn't be able to get your job back. This bill should allow the proper hearing for the fired person. But, we need to improve the VA for our vets.
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    I've had two occasions in the recent past to deal with and work closely With The VA. Both circumstances put me in contact with very underperforming and I daresay incompetent iindividuals. I believe the VA needs much improvement.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to focus on granting the VA more resources and stronger infrastructure to handle the needs of our veterans, not focus on firing people from an already-understaffed agency. There are bigger problems with the VA that should be addressed first.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    Of COURSE it should be easy to get rid of bad employees at any level! Good gravy! How much more incompetent can the government get?!? "You're bad at your job, and you've been bad at your job, and you're not getting any better. But we're going to let you keep doing it. As you were! Now let's get those veterans some healthcare!" Yeesh. And some of you people, with the utter disaster of the VA (a 100% government-run and -funded healthcare program) staring you in the face, somehow still think getting government more involved in healthcare would help anything.
    Like (38)
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    If incompetent employees can't be fired, it's because their management is unwilling to do the record-keeping required to demonstrate that they are actually incompetent. Furthermore, the VA is currently underfunded and understaffed, so firing VA employees should be the last thing on the agenda if we actually care about our veterans. I am disappointed that Rep. Gottheimer voted for this bill.
    Like (30)
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    Just another tool to be able to intimidate and threaten employees who don't agree with political mandate of managers.
    Like (20)
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    This is crucial to facilitate revamping this broken system. Poor performers who fail our veterans must be held accountable.
    Like (19)
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    I'm leaning for support of this VA bill. Maybe we should setting manager goals and then start deducting from his salary for not meeting various goals. But please give him at least $15/hr to keep the union happy 😘
    Like (16)
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    Maybe draining this swamp will start to give proper care to veterans.
    Like (15)
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    Federal employees should be career employees, not at the whim of a political party.
    Like (15)
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    "The VA’s leadership needs more flexibility for dealing with employees who have performed poorly, whether it’s firing or suspending them, or recouping bonuses that they didn’t deserve." I agree. "The VA has struggled to punish executives accused of wrongdoing since employees covered up long waits at veteran hospitals across the country and an investigation found a corrosive management culture." I agree. As a veteran, I expect the VA to serve me and my fellow veterans with respect and fairness. I expect the VA employees to be professionals and their misconduct, either on or off-duty should be punished. The VA has a history of negative conduct and this bill would be a move in the the right direction.
    Like (13)
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    There's a process for getting rid of bad employees and I'm suspicious of anyone who tries to circumvent it. The VA also has had some whistleblowers who've brought to light some bad practices and management would have loved to cull those who they thought might be responsible.
    Like (12)
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    Accountability. It is a dying ideology within the American mindset. If you commit fraud, perform poorly, misconduct yourself, etc on the job, the employer should have the right to reprimand in a way that alters your behavior. Obviously, there still needs to be some type of "strike" system that allows for redemption and disallows any misconduct on the side of management. Our culture and society has created a "Do Whatever I Want" attitude with many people in this country, especially when they know that no harm can come of their actions. It is time for people to be accountable for their actions, regardless of their societal stature or protections under over-reaching statutes. If you under perform, work harder. If you mess up, fix your mistakes. If you misconduct yourself, grow up.
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    I would say the same standards should apply for another group of federal employees who aren't performing up to par: the US Congress. How about when they fail to make any headway their constituency gets to fire them? Or demote them? Or decrease their pension???
    Like (11)
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    It has been a long-standing "joke" that the VA is where veterans go to get treated to death. And it can always ALWAYS be traced back to the government employee mindset "I only have to be here until my shift ends, so someone else can be responsible for this." The lack of accountability, the red tape, the beurocracy is literally killing people.
    Like (11)
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    I'm 100% in agreement. This is the way it should be throughout government.
    Like (9)
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