Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
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Draining the Swamp, Restoring VA Accountability

Jun 23, 2017
Press Release



Legislation was co-sponsored and championed by Congressman Pittenger


WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald J. Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094) into law.  Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) co-sponsored the House version of this legislation, which will restore accountability at the VA by making it easier to fire or demote incompetent employees.

“Few federal agencies epitomize ‘the swamp’ more than the modern VA,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Every single day, my phone rings with veterans who are not receiving appropriate care at VA facilities.  On average, my staff is actively involved in over 500 veterans’ cases. 

“We know many VA employees are dedicated public servants, but the current system is so focused on protecting the jobs of incompetent employees that everyone suffers.  This law will help drain the swamp and restore accountability at the VA.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094):

  • Streamlines the process for firing, demoting, or suspending VA employees for poor performance or misconduct.  The current process is so complex and lengthy that firing an incompetent employee can take a year or longer, if completed at all.
  • Provides expanded protections for whistleblowers.
  • Allows the VA Secretary to directly hire Medical Center Directors, bypassing an unnecessary and lengthy process that currently makes it difficult to recruit talented management.

Waxhaw residents Michael and Sarah Verardo, who have met repeatedly with Congressman Pittenger to discuss veterans issues, attended today’s signing ceremony.  In 2010, Michael Verardo lost his left leg after stepping on an IED while serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan.