Bill would ban bonuses for lawbreaking VA employees

Rep. Phil Roe wants to ensure that workers at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs who violate civil law aren’t eligible for bonuses.

The Tennessee Republican introduced legislation that would penalize VA employees for breaking contracts with the federal government. He offered an example of VA employees allegedly buying medicinal drugs beyond the limits established by contracts.

{mosads}”Financial incentives are valuable tools to retain employees, but they should not be given to employees who knowingly act outside of the law,” Roe said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the House adopted an amendment to the 2016 appropriations bill for the VA that prohibits bonuses for the agency’s senior executives. But as with the other individual 2016 House appropriations bills, it has since stalled due to objections from Democrats over sequestration spending levels.

VA bonuses are a popular congressional target. A 2014 report in USA Today found that the VA gave $380,000 worth of bonuses to top officials at 38 hospitals where investigators were reviewing claims of falsified records or excessive patient wait times.

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) introduced legislation in January that would allow the VA secretary to rescind bonuses and performance awards doled out to agency employees. It passed the House by voice vote in March, but still awaits Senate action.

Tags Department of Veterans Affairs Phil Roe

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