Trump signs law to make VA more accountable for vets' care

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The law, called the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, makes the process by which VA Secretary David Shulkin can fire an employee simpler by affording him more authority to get rid of employees and shortening the review process for said firing.

"Our veterans have fulfilled their duty to this nation and now we must fulfill our duty to them", the president said at a White House signing ceremony.

"I just want to say two very simple words: Thank you", Trump said to USA veterans.

President Donald Trump signed a new law today that gives the Department of Veteran Affairs more internal power over failed employees, completing a campaign promise he made to veterans.

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At the VA medical center in the southwestern city of Phoenix, Arizona, some veterans died in 2014 while awaiting treatment. "To achieve this goal, it is critical that employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are held to the highest performance standards, and that they are accountable when those standards are not met".

Trump says the law represents one of the biggest reforms to the VA in a generation or more.

Former state lawmaker, current political pundit and U-S Army Reservist Rocky Raczkowski spoke with WWJ on the bill passing, and said veterans have been waiting for this for over 12 years. "It also allows veterans that can't get into the VA to go to a private doctor, and have that private doctor be reimbursed". The House Committee on Veterans Affairs says it now takes up to one year to dismiss a permanent federal employee. "Americans should be proud of the way Congress and this administration came together to take decisive action to help our veterans". Raczkowski explained that there were a lot of moving parts that needed to be ironed out before it could pass. It passed the Senate by a unanimous voice vote. "The bill also establishes the Office of Accountability, which forbids the VA Secretary from retaliating against whistleblowers who have filed complaints within the VA general counsel's office".

Trump has promised VA reform and greater care for US veterans since the early days of his campaign, which followed a scandal in 2014 and changes at the department due to long wait times at some VA locations that prevented retired servicemembers from getting necessary care.