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SEA Statement on Senate Introduction of the Veterans First Act

Today, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee introduced the Veterans First Act, which would, among other provisions, remove the MSPB from the senior executive accountability process and instead require senior executives to appeal to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs under an expedited timeline.

In response, Senior Executives Association (SEA) Interim President Jason Briefel issued the following statement:

“Time and again, SEA and partners have sounded the alarm regarding the detrimental effects these ‘accountability’ proposals would have on the VA workforce and the veterans they serve. The inclusion of potentially unconstitutional disciplinary provisions within a bill that, at its core, is aimed at improving veteran services and benefits is just another reminder that there are some in Congress who, in their constant quest for media attention and re-election, overreach beyond their congressional jurisdiction. Workplace culture cannot be changed overnight or via legislation.

At this point, SEA is dismayed that our persistent attempts to provide constructive feedback have been rebuffed and ignored. We share the committee’s concern and agree that we must ensure our veterans are receiving the best care, but in order to do so we must look to common sense business practices and those do not include creating a toxic and hostile environment for VA employees.”