Linda McMahon, President Donald Trump’s pick for Small Business Administration leader, received bipartisan support during her confirmation hearing. McMahon promised to be an advocate for small businesses struggling to work with government agencies.
The Senate had a busy weekend, passing five major pieces of legislation that will impact veterans, inspectors general, FBI whistleblowers and others before the close of the 114th Congress.
A new omnibus veterans package cleared the House Tuesday afternoon, but it doesn’t address three controversial issues that both veterans affairs committees and the VA Secretary himself have spent the past year debating. That leaves a fix for the outdated veterans appeals process, an alternative or solution to the Veterans Choice Program and new accountability procedures to the 115th Congress and next administration.
The Veterans First Act is a bipartisan omnibus bill that addresses problems within the Veterans Affairs Department. Everything from accountability to whistleblower protections is included in the package, along with major changes to the health care program for veterans, educational benefits and help for survivors.
Accountability in the Senior Executive Service will be at the center of congressional discussions on a new omnibus legislative package for the Veterans Affairs Department. Senate VA Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said he wants the VA and the committee to finish its work on the legislation by April 1.
Members of Congress in the Washington area scored highly yet again on this year’s report card put out by Federally Employed Women.
Michael Missal, the president’s nominee to lead the VA’s Office of Inspector General, appeared before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to answer questions on how he plans to hold accountable the struggling agency.
The measure would preserve VA employees’ rights to appeal disciplinary decisions, while shortening the appeals process. VA leaders says they do not need another law, while the White House has threatened to veto the bill out of concern for employees’ due process rights.
The director of the Veterans Benefits Administration, Allison Hickey, is resigning, after four years as undersecretary with the department.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote a letter to the Justice Department pushing for action on this latest scandal at the Veterans Affairs Department.