Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Greg Walden applauds new law to increase accountability, expand whistleblower protections at the VA

July 5, 2017
Press Release

Greg Walden applauds new law to increase accountability, expand whistleblower protections at the VA

Click here or on the image above to view Walden’s remarks

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Continuing his support for legislation to improve the care Oregon veterans receive at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) applauded a new law that would increase accountability at the VA. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 will streamline the process for removing poor performing VA employees and expand whistleblower protections for those who reveal wrongdoing in the agency. Walden said this legislation is a big step forward in reforming the VA and getting veterans the care they deserve.

“One of the commitments we made to the American people, especially our veterans, is to improve the situation at the VA,” said Walden. “We all remember the stories about wait times, where veterans actually died waiting to get access to care, and where the VA actually lied to Congress and the American people about their wait time lists. We’re changing all of that with legislation the President has now signed into law, called the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. This sets up a streamlined process to deal with the management issues faced by the VA when it comes to VA employees who aren’t doing their jobs or are misleading. They can be replaced and we can get good people in positions quickly. This will be really important for those who every day go to work at the VA to do their job, and do it well and help veterans and they see things that aren’t going right. We give them additional protections as whistleblowers so we can get the VA in the place it should be to provide world-class care for the people who protect our freedom.”

Walden has heard from veterans across Oregon about the need to improve accountability at the VA. This legislation creates an efficient process to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for poor performance, negligence, or misconduct. Importantly, the law will also expand protections for whistleblowers and would prohibit the VA from removing employees that have an open whistleblower case with the agency. For complete background on this legislation, please click here.

If you or a loved one is having trouble with the VA, you can call Walden’s office for assistance toll-free from Oregon at 800-533-3303. Walden has assisted more than 6,000 Oregon veterans in personal matters dealing with the VA.