Trott Votes to Improve Care for Southeast Michigan Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC: U.S. Representative Dave Trott (MI-11) today voted for legislation that will help improve care for Southeast Michigan veterans by holding VA officials accountable for misconduct and restricting bonuses paid to failing employees.
“After fighting for our nation, Michigan veterans should not have to fight bureaucratic red tape and slowdowns when they return home. For far too long, the VA has been failing to provide timely and effective service for our vets. According to reports, as many as 307,000 veterans have died waiting for service from the Veterans Affairs’ Administration. That’s completely unacceptable, and Congress needs to act now to reform the VA, hold failing employees accountable, and ensure our veterans get the best possible care,” said Rep. Trott.
The legislation, supported by Rep. Trott, is known as the “VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016” and reforms at the Department of VA by providing the Secretary increased flexibility to remove a VA employee for poor performance or misconduct, while also strengthening whistleblower protections, including restricting bonus awards for supervisors who retaliate against whistleblowers. The bill would also further strengthen accountability at the VA by allowing the Secretary to recoup any bonuses or relocation expenses given to VA employees when the Secretary deems it necessary.
While the VA and the Obama Administration have claimed the bureaucracy is unable to improve due to a lack of funding, appropriations for the VA have increased from $47.8 billion in 2009 to $63.4 in 2014—a nearly 30% increase. This year, Rep. Trott supported appropriations legislation that increases discretionary spending for the VA to $73.5 billion, a 3% increase from FY 2016.
Michigan’s Eleventh Congressional District is home to over 43,000 military veterans.