This Week Revisted- March 14, 2017
Week of March 14 Revisited – On the Floor
On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, by a vote of 240-175 (See Roll Call #169). This legislation prohibits VA from considering any beneficiary who is assisted by a fiduciary as “mentally defective” without a magistrate or judicial authority ruling that the beneficiary is a danger to themselves or others.
On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 1259, the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, by a vote of 237-178. (See Roll Call #168). This legislation would provide the VA Secretary increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee, including Senior Executive Service employees, for performance or misconduct. It would also provide improved protections for whistleblowers; would allow the Secretary to reduce an employee's federal pension if they are convicted of a felony that influenced their job at the VA; recoup a bonus provided to an employee who engaged in misconduct or poor performance prior to receiving the bonus; and would allow the Secretary to recoup any relocation expenses that were authorized for a VA employee only through the employee's ill-gotten means, such as fraud, waste, or malfeasance.
On Friday, the House passed H.R. 1367, To improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes, by a vote of 412-0 (See Roll Call #171). This bill would establish staffing, recruitment and retention programs to enable VA to recruit and retain the very best in the field. This bill would establish a recruiting database to make high-quality potential employees aware of positions at VA and create opportunities for career training and advancement for current VA employees through fellowship positions and a promotional track for technical experts.
Next week, the House will consider H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). The House will also consider H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX). The House will also consider H.R. , the American Health Care Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN).