SEA Expresses Disappointment on Passage of HR 4031; Calls on Congress to Work on Systemic Reform Rather than a Guilty Until Proven Innocent Bill

Today, the Senior Executives Association expressed its deep disappointment regarding the House vote to approve the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014.

This bill does not ensure that veterans will get the quality care they deserve nor will it change the VA in any positive way. To the contrary, it will drive away well qualified potential applicants from VA executive positions.

"Veterans have fought on behalf of the founding tenets and freedoms that make America great and keep democracy strong. These ideals include due process, the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, and an impartial justice system. Congress would seek to curtail the very ideals that set America apart by passing an unconstitutional, guilty until proven innocent bill," stated Carol Bonosaro, SEA's president. "Instead of wasting time on HR 4031 they should be moving quickly to deal with the systemic drivers of a growing VA population, lack of sufficient medical staff and resources, and the laws already in place to ensure employee accountability and performance."

SEA heartily agrees with statements made by Representative Hoyer regarding the need to ensure accountability, but to also ensure fairness and due process. Any action by the Senate on this legislation must ensure that due process is provided.

SEA calls on the Senate to bring stakeholders together to work on comprehensive, systemic reform. An unconstitutional band-aid bill such as HR 4031 will do nothing to address the serious issues facing veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs.