Tester, Trump Announce VA Office of Accountability
Senator Helped Draft Legislation that Led to the President’s Executive Order
(U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) – Senator Jon Tester today joined President Trump as the Administration announced a new Executive Order creating a VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.
Today’s Executive Order will create an office, within the Department of Veterans Affairs, to advise VA Secretary David Shulkin on how to discipline poorly performing VA employees and how to protect whistleblowers who come forward with concerns.
Trump invited Tester to today’s announcement after Tester helped draft the bipartisan Veterans First Act, which initially proposed the office. That legislation stalled last Congress after unanimously passing the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“I am honored to work with President Trump on holding the VA accountable so it delivers the best possible care for those who put their lives on the line for this great nation,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The creation of this office will bring much needed oversight to an agency that has been struggling. I am proud to see this bipartisan idea come to life and I will be watching closely to ensure this office improves delivery of critical services for America’s veterans.”
The Executive Order also establishes a new task force on waste, fraud and abuse, which will provide recommendations about how to save taxpayer dollars within the VA.
“Senator Isakson, Senator Moran and Senator Tester – thank you, thank you, thank you all,” said Trump. “I look forward to serving our veterans with all of you. And I can tell you this group, whether they’re Democrat or Republican, they’re here to help.”
“Today we’re taking another bold step forward. I’m signing an Executive Order to create an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Trump added.
Tester was joined at the signing ceremony by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), the Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.