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Congressman Doug LaMalfa

Representing the 1st District of California

Rep. LaMalfa Votes to Protect Veterans’ Benefits & Reform VA Bureaucracy

Sep 15, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. LaMalfa voted in favor of H.R. 5620, the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016, which passed the House of Representatives on a 310-116 vote. The measure includes several reforms of the Department of Veterans Affairs, ensuring that employees may be fired for poor performance or misconduct, creating a system to protect whistleblowers, and protecting veterans’ rights during the benefit claim appeal process.

LaMalfa released the following statement on the bill:

“Honoring the service of our veterans requires us to make sure veterans have a VA that works for them, not against them. VA employees who misbehave or perform poorly should be relieved of their duties immediately, not allowed to continue failing to fulfill their responsibilities. It’s a simple principle that shouldn’t require a bill and ought to apply throughout the government.

“We’ve also taken action to accelerate the benefit appeals process and ensure that veterans’ rights are protected at every step. While VA officials often mention the reduction in the claims backlog, there are now nearly half a million appeals pending within the VA. VA officials testified before Congress that in 2015, veterans had to wait an average of three years to appeal decisions on their benefits. This bill is an important step to ending that unacceptable delay.”

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.