Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) voted in support of H.R. 5620 -- VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016. This bipartisan legislation provides the Secretary of Veterans Affairs flexibility to remove VA employees – including VA Senior Executive Service Employees – for performance or misconduct, adds protections for whistleblowers and streamlines the appeals process for our veterans waiting on claims adjudication.  

“Our district has more veterans than any district in New York, and I am committed to ensuring they get the care they need,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “When I speak to veterans at events across our district, I regularly hear about the need for more accountability at the VA. This important legislation makes needed reforms to the VA to bring accountability and increase performance and I was pleased to help it pass out of the House today.”

This legislation included a bipartisan amendment offered by Congresswoman Stefanik and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) to allow the VA to recruit resident physicians earlier, offering doctors a conditional job offer up to two years prior to their graduation.

“In my district, the Samuel S Stratton VAMC has over 28,000 enrolled patients with an average wait time of 11.25 days for a primary care appointment,” added Stefanik. “This legislation will allow the VA to recruit on an even playing field with the private sector, providing more doctors to care for our North Country heroes.”