Veterans Get Behind Proposal To Change Veterans Affairs Department | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Veterans Get Behind Proposal To Change Veterans Affairs Department

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Veterans' groups are getting behind a new proposal that attempts to root out bad employees at the Veterans Affairs Department.

The Veterans Affairs Department has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of benefits claims. Republican lawmakers are hoping to address the problem with a new piece of legislation that would allow the Veterans Affairs secretary to fire workers who are underperforming. Pete Hegseth, head of Concerned Veterans for America, says his group is tossing its full weight behind the proposal.

"And this is not about the mass of, as many have said, this is not about the mass of bad employees at the VA. Most VA employees are fantastic employees," Hegseth says. "What this does is it empowers the secretary to get rid of those who set the wrong tone and maintain the status quo, which has been failing our vets for so long."

But the VA argues the bill undercuts important protections for federal workers. They say the workers aren't the problem, claiming outdated technology is to blame for the backlog of claims. They also say they've been able to fire bad employees under the existing law.

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