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Congressman Bruce Poliquin

Representing the 2nd District of Maine

Ensuring the Horrific Malpractice Reported at Veterans’ Facilities Never Happens Again

June 13, 2017
Press Release
Broadly supported legislation will now move to the President’s desk for his signature

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02), a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, joined a bipartisan effort to give Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) management the full authority to hold bad actors at the VA accountable.


This action, in the form of new legislation supported by many Veterans group, helps ensure malpractice like that which occurred at facilities in Phoenix, Ariz. never happens again.


Congressman Poliquin helped pass the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094) in a bipartisan vote 368-55.


“While there are many good and hardworking people at the VA, the continued reports of horrific malpractice across the country at VA facilities is inexcusable and must be addressed immediately,” said Congressman Poliquin. “VA management must have authority to hold bad actors accountable.  This is especially true when misconduct has caused some of our Veterans to lose their lives. This is grossly unacceptable.


“Today, I’m proud to stand with our Veterans and to help make sure our Nation fulfills our promises to them, providing them with the care and support they undoubtedly deserve.”


Click HERE to watch Congressman Poliquin speak on the House Floor today in support of the legislation.


Said Charles E. Schmidt, National Commander of the American Legion, “This legislation, as currently written, will provide the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the authorities to improve accountability and raise employee performance and morale.  We are impressed by the speed by which Congress acted to move this critical legislation forward to the President’s desk in a bipartisan manner. We look forward to this bill becoming law.”


Said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy, “The VFW wants Secretary Shulkin to have the authority to manage his people in a manner expected of all senior executives, public or private. The VFW wants the secretary to weed out the nonperformers and those whose personal conduct brings doubt and dishonor upon thousands of dedicated employees. And the VFW wants this bill passed into law, because maintaining the status quo doesn’t work for those who have borne the battle.”




Congressman Poliquin voted in favor of this bill in the 114th Congress. Now that the bill has passed the House, it will go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.


The bill has the support of numerous national Veterans organizations, including The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Veterans (AMVETS), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), and the Reserve Officer Association (ROA).


About the bill:


The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act provides the Secretary of Veterans Affairs flexibility to remove VA employees for performance or misconduct, adds protections for whistleblowers, and increases accountability and performance measures for VA Senior Executive Service employees.


Items to Note: