from the hill

House Subcommittee Approves Bill to cut SES Performance Awards at VA

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) has approved a spending bill that would exclude senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) from receiving bonuses in fiscal 2017.

The bill, which will now go before the full House Appropriations Committee, appropriates money for housing, training and equipment for military personnel and funds veterans’ benefits and programs.

This year is the first time the measure to prevent the department from using any funds for senior executives’ performance awards has been built into the base of the legislation. Last year in the fiscal 2016 MilCon-VA bill, an amendment was successfully tacked on that would have banned bonuses for all VA senior executives. However, it was left out of the omnibus package Congress ended up passing in order to avoid a government shutdown.

 “As I’ve stated over the last three years, this language will not provide any solution in the short term, and in fact may have more long term consequences and compound the very problem it attempts to address,” MilCon-VA ranking member Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) said of the provision. “All the language will do is make the VA a less attractive option than other agencies when it comes to recruiting and retaining quality executive leaders.”

When asked about the provision and who pushed for its inclusion, Jennifer Hing, the spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee Republican majority, said “many members request[ed] for similar language.”

Posted in From the Hill


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