House veterans chairman: VA should fire bad workers faster

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DENVER (AP) – The chairman of the House Veterans Committee says the troubled Veterans Affairs Department should fire problem employees faster and that Congress should make it easier for the entire government to dismiss bad workers.

In Denver, Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida on Monday defended his proposal to streamline the VA’s firing process but said he’s open to changes.

Congress is unhappy about how long the VA has taken to discipline employees over falsified records to cover up long wait times for veterans’ health care and cost overruns at a hospital under construction outside Denver.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald, also speaking to the Disabled American Veterans in Denver, said the bill would make it hard to recruit good staffers.

Miller’s measure passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.