WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2017) – Square Deal for Veterans a 501(c)(19) War Veterans organization, will join President Donald J. Trump on Friday, June 23rd at 11:30 am EST to officially sign into law, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.
Congress recently approved legislation making the firing of employees easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Square Deal for Veterans joined the National Military and Veteran Alliance in presenting a letter of support to Senate Veteran Committee Chairmen Johnny Isakson and Ranking Member, John Tester supporting the Bill, prior to its’ passage.
The letter, organized by Square Deal for Veterans, supported S. 1094, introduced by Senator Marco Rubio.
“We are very excited to see this important legislation come to fruition. The bipartisan support we saw here was essential in giving the power needed to eliminate bad employees from the VA, as well as to protect our veterans and whistleblowers,” said Sarah Verardo, Square Deal’s Co-Founder and Board President. “This was a needed step in creating more accountability and efficiency for our veterans and their healthcare.”
Square Deal for Veterans is an organization designed to ensure our military veterans and caregivers have a direct role in the reshaping of the VA and on policies affecting Veterans. The President had vowed during his campaign to fire VA employees "who let our veterans down.”
Square Deal members met personally in April 2017, with VA Secretary David Shulkin, who also supported the bill, to lobby on its’ behalf. The bill includes new protections against retaliation for VA staffers who expose corruption. It establishes an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the department and forbids the VA secretary from retaliating against whistleblowers who have filed a complaint with the VA general counsel's office.
The letter orchestrated by Square Deal in support of the Bill read, “For more than three years, American veterans and families, our organizations’ members, have languished while criminal and malfeasant VA employees scoff at their responsibilities and the needs of their customer veterans, all while the Secretary is unable to do anything because of antiquated personnel rules designed to protect jobs rather than protect veterans. These VA employees are able to avoid responsibility for their actions, game the VA bonus system, keep their jobs even after failing to do their jobs, and get promoted rather than face the consequences for their acts.”
Wartime veterans, other veterans, military and veteran family members and other supporters can join SD4Vs (full membership is only open to wartime veterans), or get more involved with these grassroots efforts here.
How to Watch
Tune into the White House's live stream of this historic moment on Friday, June 23rd at 11:30 AM EST. You can watch the live stream here.
Square Deal is a national grassroots organization that will work to ensure that the momentum created by America’s veterans continues in the Trump Administration. The organization is designed to ensure our military veterans and caregivers have a direct role in the reshaping of the VA and on policies affecting Veterans.