VA Accountability Bill Needs Trump’s Signature

June 15, 2017

Financial Expert Dan Celia: Leadership Is Finally Taking Action That Will Benefit Veterans and Help VA Become More Efficient and Effective

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—After numerous complaints about the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the Veterans Administration—including from financial expert, nationally syndicated radio and television host and veteran Dan Celia—the House is expected this week to send a Veterans Administration accountability bill to President Donald Trump’s desk.

According to Politico, the bill will give “VA Secretary David Shulkin greater authority to ‘expeditiously remove, demote or suspend’ ill-performing employees or those guilty of misconduct. If enacted, it will be the first law passed in years to beef up VA accountability.” The bill also marks an ongoing effort to overhaul the VA culture after discoveries that veterans waited months or even years for care.

Celia recently wrote an op-ed for Townhall.com, where he is a featured columnist, on the VA overhaul and what an accountability bill will mean for veterans and their care.

“At first, I was not a fan of Secretary David Shulkin,” Celia wrote in his op-ed, which received more than 1,000 Facebook shares. “One of three Trump appointees that I questioned, I felt he had made it a point to be somewhat of a career politician. I believed what we needed in that position was not an Obama-holdover appointee, but a businessman who specialized in turning around organizations. I have to admit—my original assessment of Secretary Shulkin has been proven wrong.”

Celia has long said that the VA would never be fixed without the ability to fire some employees and hold deplorable ones accountable. Without such tools—like the impending bill—it’s difficult to turn around any organization, he said.

“In my opinion, the VA was the most disturbing of all the ineffective and inefficient government agencies because it is dealing with life-and-death situations—and, more importantly, the life and standard of living of veterans who have served our country so faithfully,” Celia said.

He is encouraged, however, with the recent executive order signed by President Trump a few weeks ago, which established an office of accountability and whistleblower protection within the VA, as well as the bill that should cross Trump’s desk soon.

“This order was not only a necessary part of turning around the Veterans Administration, it was the fulfillment of a campaign promise to veterans,” said Celia. “This executive order didn’t get the press coverage it deserved. As a veteran, this was an incredibly significant executive order and will have huge impact in turning around the VA.

“It looks like 2017 could be the time that we stop talking about what the Veterans Administration needs and start doing what is necessary to create efficiency and effectiveness, and if accountability comes to the second-largest federal government agency as it starts on a path of recovery, the results will be unprecedented—and something seldom seen in government,” Celia concluded in the op-ed. “It would appear that Secretary Shulkin and President Trump are well on their way to being a team that our veterans have been waiting on for a very long time.”

The bill heading to the president’s desk “is a bipartisan compromise struck by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) with Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and ranking member Jon Tester (D-Mont.),” reported Politico. The measure was already passed by the Senate and would allow the VA secretary to “remove, suspend or reprimand a senior executive with a 21-day internal grievance process,” as well as discipline non-senior, recoup bonuses and claw back pensions of those convicted of felonies related to their VA work.

Read Celia’s entire op-ed here. Another recent Celia op-ed received more than 2,000 social media shares on Townhall.

Celia leads Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries (FISM, www.financialissues.organd focuses on important economic news and biblical investing during his daily, two-hour program, “Financial Issues,” which moved to a three-hour format on June 1. Read more about Celia, FISM and “Financial Issues” here.

Visit the Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries web site at www.financialissues.org, its Facebook page, on YouTube at Financial Issues with Dan Celia or on Twitter @financialissues. Download the new Financial Issues app here.

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To interview Dan Celia of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, contact Beth Harrison, 610-584-1096, x104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, x102.


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