Congress Has Passed a Major VA Overhaul. Now What?

By Eric Katz

August 1, 2014

The Senate passed a major Veterans Affairs Department overhaul Thursday evening, and the bill will soon be signed into law by President Obama.

The law will ease the firing of VA senior executives, reform employee performance metrics and allow veterans without immediate access to a VA facility to receive private care on the government’s dime. Read a full breakdown of the bill here.

Congress is still considering many options to improve VA’s management, oversight and service delivery. As Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said when announcing his conference committee had reached a bipartisan agreement on reforms: “This is not the end, this is the beginning. God knows there is a lot more work to be done.”

Lawmakers have introduced a slew of measures to curb bonuses to VA employees -- which were largely unaffected by the compromise bill -- as well as to address the claims backlog, rising veterans suicides and information sharing between the Defense Department and VA. Below is a chart mapping out what Congress has passed, and what it still has left on its plate: 


By Eric Katz

August 1, 2014

http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2014/08/congress-has-passed-major-va-overhaul-now-what/90350/