WASHINGTON – Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, praised President Trump’s effort to support whistleblowers within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The White House announced the creation of the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the VA on Thursday to help protect whistleblowers and ensure leadership has the authority to fire bad employees plaguing the VA.
“Our veterans, the finest among us, deserve the best health care available. Whistleblowers take great personal and professional risks to expose practices and procedures that could be harmful to our veterans. As my committee has seen at the VA Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin, and around the country, VA whistleblowers often experience severe retaliation while the wrongdoers face little to no accountability. Those who have the courage to come forward shouldn’t be punished. I applaud the Trump administration for taking action to hold bad actors accountable and enhance whistleblower protections throughout the VA.”
Learn more about the new office to protect whistleblowers here.
- In May 2016 Sen. Johnson released a 359 page report on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ investigation into the tragedies at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis.
- This congress Sen. Johnson re-introduced the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act, named after a whistleblower from the Tomah VA facility who took his own life after being fired for questioning the excessive prescription practices of the facility. The legislation would strengthen penalties for retaliation against whistleblowers and increase awareness of whistleblower protections for federal employees.
- Johnson also recently sent a letter to the VA regarding Dr. Dale Klein’s case in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
- Chairman Johnson held a hearing with whistleblowers in 2015 to address these issues within the VA. Sean Kirkpatrick, brother of Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick, testified at the hearing.