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HomeNewsPoliticsHouse Republicans Approve VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act

House Republicans Approve VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act

This May 19, 2014 photo shows a a sign in front of the Veterans Affairs building in Washington, DC. (Photo: Reuters)
This May 19, 2014 photo shows a a sign in front of the Veterans Affairs building in Washington, DC. (Photo: Reuters)

This May 19, 2014 photo shows a a sign in front of the Veterans Affairs building in Washington, DC. (Photo: Reuters)

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to approve the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, sending the bill to President Donald J. Trump. The vote was 368 to 55 (Nay votes are listed below).

The bill, which President Trump will sign, gives leadership at the VA the ability to fire bad employees for misconduct and offers more whistleblower protection to those who report wrongdoing.

“With this legislation, Secretary Shulkin will have the tools that he needs to deliver the kind of change that our veterans have been demanding. And most fundamentally, it will assure veterans that when we say that we are a grateful nation, we mean it,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters at his press conference on Tuesday.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, was the only Republican to vote “no” on the bill. Meanwhile, 54 Democrats voted against the measure. The Senate passed the bill earlier last week.

“A great day to be a U.S. Senator,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sponsored the bill in the U.S. Senate said. “With today’s passage, we are now one step closer to a new era at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

The passage of the bill under the Trump Administration and Republican control of Congress followed several scandals that included veterans dying while waiting to get appointments at VA hospitals, most notably in Phoenix, Arizona.

At a facility in Tomah, Wisconsin, patients called the chief of staff the “Candy Man” because he widely distributed narcotics for a $4,000 bonus, even after a patient named Jason Simcakoski died of an overdose. Incredibly, this was after an investigation uncovered that he was overprescribing.

“By the way, the pharmacist at Tomah? He got a bonus also that year,” Speaker Ryan also pointed out.

The previous administration repeatedly claimed to have learned of the conditions at these VA facilities only after news reports exposed them, including allegations from a doctor at the Huntington VA Medical Center in Charleston, West Virginia. Dr. Margaret Moxness, a psychiatrist, said in 2014 she was ordered to delay the treatment of veterans for months and that at least two of them had committed suicide.

At his first full Cabinet meeting on Monday, President Trump said the bill will “ensure employees of the VA can be held accountable if they fail our great veterans.”

Vote Party Representative District
Nay   D   Barragán, Nanette CA 44th
Nay   D   Bass, Karen CA 37th
Nay   D   Beyer, Donald VA 8th
Nay   D   Brown, Anthony MD 4th
Nay   D   Carson, André IN 7th
Nay   D   Clarke, Yvette NY 9th
Nay   D   Clyburn, Jim SC 6th
Nay   D   Cohen, Steve TN 9th
Nay   D   Crowley, Joe NY 14th
Nay   D   DeSaulnier, Mark CA 11th
Nay   D   Ellison, Keith MN 5th
Nay   D   Engel, Eliot NY 16th
Nay   D   Espaillat, Adriano NY 13th
Nay   D   Evans, Dwight PA 2nd
Nay   D   Fudge, Marcia OH 11th
Nay   D   Green, Al TX 9th
Nay   D   Grijalva, Raúl AZ 3rd
Nay   D   Gutiérrez, Luis IL 4th
Nay   D   Hanabusa, Colleen HI 1st
Nay   D   Hastings, Alcee FL 20th
Nay   D   Hoyer, Steny MD 5th
Nay   D   Jackson Lee, Sheila TX 18th
Nay   D   Jayapal, Pramila WA 7th
Nay   D   Jeffries, Hakeem NY 8th
Nay   D   Johnson, Eddie TX 30th
Nay   D   Johnson, Hank GA 4th
Nay   D   Kelly, Robin IL 2nd
Nay   D   Lee, Barbara CA 13th
Nay   D   Levin, Sander MI 9th
Nay   D   Lewis, John GA 5th
Nay   D   Lynch, Stephen MA 8th
Nay   D   McEachin, Donald VA 4th
Nay   D   Nadler, Jerrold NY 10th
Nay   D   Norcross, Donald NJ 1st
Nay   D   Pallone, Frank NJ 6th
Nay   D   Payne, Donald NJ 10th
Nay   D   Pelosi, Nancy CA 12th
Nay   D   Pocan, Mark WI 2nd
Nay   D   Raskin, Jamie MD 8th
Nay   D   Rice, Kathleen NY 4th
Nay   D   Richmond, Cedric LA 2nd
Nay   D   Schakowsky, Jan IL 9th
Nay   D   Scott, Bobby VA 3rd
Nay   D   Serrano, José NY 15th
Nay   D   Smith, Adam WA 9th
Nay   D   Suozzi, Thomas NY 3rd
Nay   D   Sánchez, Linda CA 38th
Nay   D   Thompson, Bennie MS 2nd
Nay   D   Vargas, Juan CA 51st
Nay   D   Velázquez, Nydia NY 7th
Nay   D   Wasserman Schultz, Debbie FL 23rd
Nay   D   Waters, Maxine CA 43rd
Nay   D   Watson Coleman, Bonnie NJ 12th
Nay   D   Wilson, Frederica FL 24th
Nay   R   Young, Don AK

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