Stars and Stripes

By:  Travis J. Tritten

Senators were working against the clock Tuesday on new legislation allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to quickly fire employees for bad conduct or poor performance after a current federal law was shot down.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said he was meeting with the highest ranking Democrat on the committee in an effort to jump-start a bill and move it to a Senate vote before the upcoming summer recess starts in July.

The committee warned that without a new law the VA will be adrift and unable to effectively root out bad managers after Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently decided a law passed by Congress in 2014 amid a nationwide wait-time scandal is unconstitutional.

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., grilled O’Connor on the VA’s reversion back to the earlier law, which appeared unable to weed out misbehaving managers during the 2014 scandal.

“If this were a corporation this would be like the sixth largest corporation in the country,” Boozman said. “At the end of the day, there’s people who don’t work out and they need to be gotten rid of in a fairly easy way.”

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