WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, PA-5, voted to support H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Management Accountability Act.
Thompson, a cosponsor of H.R. 4031, issued the following statement after the legislation passed the House by a vote of 390 to 33.
“While questions remain unanswered and officials at the VA must be held to account for the horrifying and tragic events that have been disclosed at a growing number of veteran hospitals, the House took one step toward greater accountability with passage of H.R. 4031,” stated Thompson.
“I am glad the House came together to pass this important reform, but so much more must be done to correct these specific abuses and address broader bureaucratic failures within our veteran health care system.”
“As a former therapist, hospital manager, and current Army dad I know we must restore the trust of these brave men and women who deserve nothing less than the best possible care and support,” Thompson added.
Earlier this spring, it was reported an undetermined number of veterans died while waiting for appointments for medical care at a VA facility in Phoenix, AZ and others.
Among the allegations are that VA officials falsified records, keeping secret waitlists intended to conceal the length of time that veterans were waiting for appointments and artificially inflating the number and percentage of veterans who were scheduled for appointments within the required 14 days.
In response to the reports, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki placed three officials from the Phoenix on administrative leave and ordered audits of scheduling practices at all VA health clinics. The VA Inspector General (IG), meanwhile, began an investigation into the allegations.
In testimony before a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on May 15, the VA Secretary stated the department is waiting to see the IG’s report before taking any further actions.
H.R. 4031 allows the VA Secretary to remove any individual from the Senior Executive Service if the Secretary determines that the individual’s performance warrants such removal.