Tenney’s bill passes House with overwhelming bipartisan support

Rep. Claudia Tenney

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) announced that the House passed her bill H.R. 1690, the Department of Veterans Affairs Bonus Transparency Act. The bill was passed unanimously. Last week, the measure passed the House Committee on Veterans Affairs with overwhelming support.

Aimed at increasing oversight and maximizing transparency, this legislation would require that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) submit a report to Congress at the end of each fiscal year listing bonuses awarded to senior-level staff.  This measure adds a simple reporting requirement that will streamline oversight of bonuses at the VA by requiring the agency to proactively provide information to Congress that details the amount of each bonus awarded to senior executives as well as the job titles of the individuals and the location of their employment.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs Bonus Transparency Act will provide transparency over the bonus process without placing an undue burden on the agency. Increasing oversight will help to ensure that our veterans, who have made the selfless sacrifice to serve our nation, receive the highest quality of care possible. I have no doubt that the men and women of the VA serve our veterans admirably each day. In fact, I know that many of them do. In my own district, I have spoken with veterans who are grateful for the compassionate care they receive from the VA Hospital in Syracuse as well as local VA clinics in Binghamton and Rome. However, given the patterns of mismanagement at the VA, it is imperative that Americans know how bonuses are being awarded at the agency. Moreover, Congress deserves to receive this information in a timely manner without having to request it each year,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “I would like to thank Chairman Roe and Ranking Member Walz of the Veterans Affairs Committee for prioritizing bipartisanship and putting our Veterans ahead of politics. This Committee’s work is a testament to what we can achieve here in Congress when we put politics aside and focus on results.”

“Congress has a duty to ensure we are good stewards of tax dollars and that VA is acting in the best interest of veterans and taxpayers. I’m grateful to Rep. Tenney for her leadership on this common sense bill that would help Congress monitor high-bonus awards and increase accountability at VA,” said House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Phil Roe.

“The problem with the VA is a lack of accountability. I applaud Congresswoman Tenney’s leadership and commitment to our veterans by enhancing transparency at the VA, which will result in better service to our veterans and greater stewardship to our taxpayers,” said Congressman Jodey Arrington, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

“The American taxpayer entrusts us with their hard-earned dollars to help veterans, not to pay huge bonuses to people who fail those same veterans. The VA is full of dedicated employees who work day and night for our veterans and they deserve their compensation. But those who fail our veterans should not be rewarded. We will not allow that any longer,” said Congressman Lou Correa.

Earlier this year, the measure was introduced with bipartisan support and nine original cosponsors, including: Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27), Rep. John Faso (NY-19), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-9), Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6), Rep. Jim Banks (IN-3), Rep. Walter Jones (NC-3), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2), Rep. Luis Correa (CA-46), and Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41).

In June, Rep. Tenney testified about H.R. 1690 in front of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. The testimony can be found here: https://youtu.be/kIpwVc4Xvz4.

In March, Tenney introduced the same measure as an amendment, which was adopted to the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, which passed the House by a vote of 237 – 178.

Read the bill here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1690.

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