Vets group wants Congress to wait for Trump to pass more aggressive VA reform bill

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Screen from a U.S. Senate's Committee on Veterans' Affairs website.  U.S. Congress
From Stripes.com
Screen from a U.S. Senate's Committee on Veterans' Affairs website. U.S. Congress

Vets group wants Congress to wait for Trump to pass more aggressive VA reform bill

by: Nikki Wentling | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: November 14, 2016

A massive veterans reform bill backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs will face resistance in Congress’ lame-duck session starting Tuesday from a group intent on letting the new Republican-controlled Senate and President-Elect Donald Trump have a say in how expeditiously VA employees can be fired.

With only a couple of months left as VA Secretary, Bob McDonald is making one final appeal to Congress to pass the reform bill that’s the culmination of his two-year tenure. The 400-page Veterans First Act contains dozens of provisions to streamline the appeals process for disability compensation, allow more leeway in disciplining employees and grant VA medical staff the ability to work flexible hours, among other things.

“We worked to design a new law. We’ve given a new law to Congress, and we’ve asked Congress to pass that new law,” McDonald said Thursday during an event at The Washington Post. “I’m hoping it gets passed in the lame-duck session.”

But the legislation has garnered opponents, and one veterans service organization — conservative-leaning Concerned Veterans for America — is planning a major campaign starting Tuesday to thwart efforts to move it through the Senate.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.439131

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