STATEMENT: VA’s probe reveals impunity of agency leaders, war on veterans and women

STATEMENT: VA’s probe reveals impunity of agency leaders
Bennet, DeGette, Perlmutter and Polis perpetuate VA’s war on veterans and women

DENVER–Reports are piling up detailing the Veterans Administration’s (VA) internal probe that reveals agency leaders retaliated against whistleblowers and that the VA has done absolutely nothing in following through with punitive action against guilty employees.

Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement: 

“The VA is killing America right now and in order of priority it is hurting veterans, its employees and its own reputation. The scandal-laden, lethal VA must be held accountable but our politicians would rather take care of wind and solar tax credits, funding government’s covert propaganda and taking care of refugees. It should be Americans first and veterans first.

“What is so disgusting in all of this is that so-called ‘representatives’ like Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis voted no on holding the VA more accountable. How on earth could they do that?

“Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet has failed to support the VA Accountability Act too. It seems like Colorado’s delegation from congress wants to make the bipartisan issue of taking care of our veterans a partisan one, and they are on the wrong side.

“Veterans who have died at the hands of the VA, and the employees of the VA who get sexually harassed and pushed around deserve justice and until we hold the VA accountable they won’t get to see that justice. The VA is looking guilty of waging a war on veterans and women, and the politicians who perpetuate this war need to be put on blast.”

###

Background:

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman has suggested the VA, “has an internal policy preventing it from working out a dispute with whistle-blowers who are accusing a VA supervisor of sexual harassment and assault.” The Denver Post, covered Coffman’s letter which stemmed from, “incidents with five female nurses at a VA outpatient clinic in Aurora who said they were sexually assaulted or harassed by a male nurse.”

This summer, the House passed with bipartisan votes, 256-170, the VA Accountability Act of 2015. The bill will give the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) the ability to fire VA employees who are found to be incompetent, or who are found to have engaged in mismanagement or misconduct. Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis voted “NO” on the VA Accountability Act, while the rest of the Colorado delegation voted “YES.”

The VA Accountability Act must pass the Senate and be signed by the president before becoming law. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.

The VA Accountability Act would give the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the ability to fire VA employees who are found to be incompetent, or who are found to have engaged in mismanagement or misconduct. The measure also protects whistleblowers.