SEA Sends Letter to House Urging Members to Vote Against Legislation That Allows Firing of VA Senior Executives Without Due Process
Today the Senior Executives Association (SEA), which represents the interests of career federal executives in the Senior Executive Service (SES), and those in Senior Level (SL), Scientific and Professional (ST), and equivalent positions, sent the attached letter regarding H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, to all members of the House of Representatives.
SEA has urged Members of Congress to vote no on this legislation for the following reasons:
• Firing career Senior Executives does not address the issue of access to care for veterans.
• Career Senior Executives can already be fired for poor performance, and Secretary Shinseki has already acted on this authority to remove several Senior Executives and thousands of VA employees.
• Inspectors General are investigating VA allegations, and their work must be completed before conclusions are drawn and actions taken. The American way is "innocent until proven guilty."
• Policy, not optics and media frenzy, should guide a path forward for the VA.
• Passage of this legislation would provide a route for politicizing the government's career leadership corps, upending over a century of a professional, non-partisan civil service created by the Pendleton Act of 1883.
• The legislation offers no due process whatsoever and is likely unconstitutional.
"This legislation fails to address or provide a substantive remedy for the serious issues at the VA, including access to care and patient backlogs. Apart from being unfair and likely unconstitutional, it provides the pretense of action in the guise of legislation, and America's veterans deserve better than this band-aid solution from Congress," said SEA President Carol Bonosaro.