On Friday, President Donald Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which empowers VA Secretary David Shulkin to fire bad employees. Following years of scandals, this bill is a victory for taxpayers and veterans alike, but it is only the first step toward real reform, at the VA and in the federal government generally.
"For many years the government failed to keep its promises," Trump declared before signing the bill. "Veterans were put on secret wait lists, given the wrong medication, given the bad treatments, and ignored in moments of crisis for them. Many veterans died waiting for a simple doctor's appointment." But "outdated laws kept the government from holding those who failed our veterans accountable."
Trump characterized the bill as "one of the largest reforms to the VA in its history. It's a reform that I campaigned on and now I am thrilled to sign that promise into law."