Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the lead sponsor of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reform legislation, issued the following statement today regarding President Obama’s remarks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) annual convention:‎
 
“President Obama once again delivered words on veterans’ issues when he needs to be delivering action. The president claims that his administration has made real progress toward helping our veterans, but with a 50 percent increase in wait times this year, up to $6 billion improperly spent annually and too many veterans still dying before ever receiving care, it is clear that the VA is still plagued by a culture of incompetence that cannot be tolerated.
 
“In 2014 I helped pass legislation to give the VA secretary the authority to fire senior management based on performance. But with only a few officials removed from their positions since then and millions of veterans still denied care due to outrageous backlogs, the Obama Administration is still dragging its feet on bringing real change to the VA. The reforms to begin fixing the VA are right there in the law, but now the president and VA secretary actually need to fully implement them and root out the unacceptable shortcomings we have seen in this system. America needs a president who won’t just sign these accountability measures into law, but one that will actually use them to improve and change the culture of the VA.
 
“While the president and VA secretary must act on the accountability law passed last year, even broader firing powers are needed to get rid of substandard employees from the VA so that costly negligence can be eliminated from the department at all levels.
 
“I strongly urge President Obama and Congress to immediately enact the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability Act of 2015. It will allow any VA employee to be demoted or terminated based on performance, and allow us to set a new standard for veterans’ care in our country. Those who serve our country deserve only the best in medical care, and it is my sincere hope that these reforms will go a long way to improving the lives of millions of veterans once they are signed into law and actually implemented.”‎