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Marco Rubio: Pass my bill so the VA can fire bad employees

Mar 11, 2016 | News

In the wake of newly released investigations that show fraud at veterans administration medical clinics, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio… called for reform and a new law to hold VA employees accountable.
Two years after The Arizona Republic revealed Department of Veteran Affairs employees manipulated wait times and falsified records, the agency’s independent watchdog released the first of its investigations into some clinics, including those in Jacksonville, Gainesville and St. Augustine.
“While I applaud the VA for looking into these allegations,” Rubio said, “it is a shame they exist in the first place. The VA’s sole responsibility is to serve our nation’s veterans, yet time and time again I hear from veterans whose experiences prove it has failed to do so properly. VA employees in Florida and across the country are maintaining paper files of patients waiting to be scheduled for treatment, disregarding the VA scheduling system and manipulating lists to show reduced wait times. It’s truly a disgrace.”

Rubio said the most recent reports show that Congress must pass a bill he sponsors to allow the Department of Veteran Affairs to fire or demote based on performance or misconduct.
“We’ve known the VA is in bad shape,” he said Wednesday, “but these findings simply reaffirm the necessity to reform the VA immediately. Our veterans should not have to wait for the care and treatment they deserve. It’s time we start implementing and enforcing the accountability measures I helped pass to hold incompetent, negligent and corrupt managers accountable. We must also pass the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability Act of 2015 so that any VA employee failing to fulfill his or her responsibilities can also be held accountable.
“We must stand with our veterans and continue fighting for the rights they were promised the day they swore an oath to protect our freedoms and way of life.”
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