The House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on Thursday approved with a minor revision a bill that would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire all employees, including non-management, at will.
H.R. 1994, introduced by House VA Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, would destroy the VA workforce, undermining the department’s ability to care for veterans. Specifically, the bill would:
The subcommittee also voted to reject an amendment offered by Ranking Member Rep. Mark Takano of California to preserve due process, place an annual 14-day cap on administrative leave, and curtail a widespread revolving door problem by prohibiting VA senior executives from working for a contractor for a year after leaving the VA.
Instead, it adopted an amendment offered by Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup of Ohio to allow OSC to close cases of prohibited personnel practices in an expedited manner. The minor revision, however, would not meaningfully improve the dangerous bill.
The full committee is expected to take up the bill late July.
Every federal employee needs to pay attention to this bill as what happens in the VA won’t stay in the VA. If Congress passes this bill, it will make its way to other federal employees in other departments.
Contrary to some of the rhetoric behind calls to eliminate federal employee job rights:
Other Pending Bills That Would Allow VA to Fire Employees at Will
The Senate and House committees on veterans’ affairs this week held hearings on S. 1117, introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and S. 1082, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and is identical to H.R. 1994.
S. 1117 would strip fundamental due process rights from every non-management VA employee – not just the senior executives as falsely claimed in the bill’s description.