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Key Votes

HR 1259 - VA Accountability First Act of 2017 - Key Vote

National Key Votes

Gary Palmer voted Yea (Passage) on this Legislation.

Read statements Gary Palmer made in this general time period.

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Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (237-178) - (Key vote)

Title: VA Accountability First Act of 2017

Vote Result
Yea Votes
Nay Votes
Vote Smart's Synopsis:

A vote to pass a bill that authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to quickly fire, demote, or suspend VA employees.

Highlights:
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire, demote, or suspend VA employees based on misconduct or poor performance (Sec. 3).
  • Requires the secretary to issue a notice of proposed dismissal, demotion, or suspension to the employee, then issue a final decision either (Sec. 3):
    • No later than five business days after receiving a response from the employee; or
    • No later than fifteen days after the initial notice is issued, if the employee does not respond.
  • Authorizes the employee to appeal the dismissal, demotion, or suspension to the Merit Systems Protection Board no later than seven days after the disciplinary action takes effect, and requires the administrative judge to issue a final decision no later than forty-five days after receiving the appeal (Sec. 3).
  • Specifies that the employee will not receive any pay, bonuses, or benefits during the appeals period, but will be entitled to backpay for that period if he should win the appeal (Sec. 4).
  • Prohibits the secretary from dismissing, demoting, or suspending an employee without the approval of the Special Counsel if that employee is seeking corrective action from the Office of Special Counsel based on an alleged prohibited personnel practice (Sec. 3).
  • Prohibits the secretary from dismissing, demoting, or suspending an employee who has filed a whistleblower complaint until a decision with respect to that complaint has been made (Sec. 3).
  • Defines covered service as the period between the beginning of the employee’s misconduct or poor performance and the initial dismissal, during which the employee is still provided with benefits (Sec. 4).
  • Authorizes the secretary to order that the covered service of an employee dismissed for poor performance or misconduct will not be taken into account when calculating an annuity if (Sec. 4):
    • The secretary determines that the employee is convicted of a felony that influenced his performance;
    • Before the final order is issued, the employee is given notice of the proposed order and an opportunity to respond within ten days; and
    • The secretary issues the final order no later than five days after the employee responds, or no later than fifteen days after the initial notice if the employee does not respond.  
  • Authorizes the employee to appeal the order to disregard covered service to the director of the Office of Personnel Management and requires the director to make a final decision within thirty days of receiving the appeal (Sec. 4).
  • Authorizes the secretary to order the employee to pay back bonuses or moving expenses if (Sec. 4-5):
    • The secretary determines that the employee engaged in misconduct or poor performance prior to the payment of the bonuses or expenses, and that such payment would not have been made if the misconduct or poor performance had been known prior to the payment;
    • Before the final order is issued, the employee is given notice of the proposed order and an opportunity to respond within ten days; and
    • The secretary issues the final order no later than five days after the employee responds, or no later than fifteen days after the initial notice if the employee does not respond.
  • Authorizes the employee to appeal the repayment of bonuses or moving expenses to another department or agency of the federal government, and requires the head of that department or agency to make a final decision within thirty days of receiving the appeal (Sec 4-5).
Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: VA Accountability First Act of 2017

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