Conference Report on H.R. 3230, Pay Our Guard and Reserve Actby Representative Doug Lamborn
Posted on 2014-07-30
LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Chairman Jeff Miller
for his continued leadership as we work to provide our veterans with
the care and benefits that they have earned.
Keeping the promises that we have made to our veterans and their families is of utmost importance to me and all Americans. This piece of legislation is a major step in the process of restoring veteran trust in the VA.
This bill will expand access to non-VA care, making wait times shorter and increase convenience. Although this will ensure veterans who are currently on a waiting list will get the timely care they deserve, much more needs to be done.
I am especially pleased that an independent congressional committee on care will be formed to look at the VA from the ground up. For lasting change to take place, the corrupt culture shown by some in the VA must be purged. It must be replaced with an ethos that puts the veteran first.
By authorizing the Secretary of the VA to fire senior employees that are guilty of poor performance or misconduct, this bill ensures that newly confirmed Secretary McDonald will have more tools to hold individuals accountable for their actions. However, granting this authority will mean nothing if it isn't combined with the leadership required to always do the right things for our veterans. Through his words and actions, Secretary McDonald must make it clear from day one that individuals will be held accountable, whistleblowers will be protected, and anyone responsible for poor performance, negligence, or preventable deaths, even, will be held accountable.
It has been an honor to serve with the chairman during this conference committee.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the VA conference report.
Mr. MICHAUD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman from Nevada (Ms. Titus).