Barack Obama’s administration was not exactly known for holding its employees accountable.Despite scandals, broken promises, coverups, lies, wild parties at taxpayer expense and general under-performance at multiple agencies —Internal Revenue Service and the Veteran’s Administration come immediately to mind– the list of people who lost their job is close to nonexistent. Not only did people in the Obama administration not get fired, nearly everyone received the highest possible job performance review and was rewarded with the maximum allowable salary increase.
Well now that adults are finally in charge, all that seems about to change. The military news website Stars and Stripes is reporting on a bill moving through the U.S. House of Representatives that would actually do in government what happens every day in the private sector – fire rather than reward people for corruption, incompetence, lying, malfeasance, insubordination or just plain being crappy at their job:“Despite concerns from Democrats, a House panel advanced legislation Wednesday that would make it easier for the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire, demote or suspend VA employees.
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs passed the VA Accountability First Act of 2017 on a voice vote. The committee shot down three amendments from Democrats to take out a more contentious portion of the bill that they said could prevent it from gaining support in the Senate.
“Our choice today is very simple: You can stand with an antiquated system that is responsible for the lack of accountability and the scandals that have arisen over the past years, or you can stand with our veterans,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said before the vote.”That “despite concerns from Democrats” is a shrouded way of saying Dems on the committee don’t like this, but after eight years of the nonsense, Republicans are unlikely to crack and give in to the minority party’s desires. One might ask exactly what it is about holding people accountable that Democrats don’t like? The answer to that question may be found later in the column:
“The legislation would require quicker determinations from the Merit Systems Protection Board, which hears the appeals. It would also allow the VA secretary to reduce employee pensions and recoup bonuses in certain instances.
But Democrats took issue Wednesday with one piece of the legislation that eliminates VA employees’ option to a grievance procedure. That portion has drawn harsh criticism from the American Federation of Government Employees, a union that represents approximately 270,000 VA employees.Currently, an employee facing discipline who doesn’t want to appeal through the Merit Systems Protection Board can issue a complaint with their union, which could be resolved through collective bargaining. The bill would eliminate that option.”
And there we go. Any time Democrats and workers are paired in the same sentence, you can bet there’s a labor union not far behind. The cozy triad of labor union/Democrats/campaign contributions almost always assures elected Democrats will side with unions, even over or against our military veterans.
However like Democrats on Capital Hill themselves, U.S. labor unions are seeing their power and influence steadily slip away and in this case that’s good news for our vets.[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]