Statement on Phoenix VA

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 25 – U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today on the Department of Veterans Affairs dismissing the director of its Phoenix medical center:

“I appreciate Secretary McDonald’s continued efforts to hold employees accountable.  Firing Sharon Helman is the latest action by the VA to remove high-ranking officials who have acted dishonorably. This marks the fifth time since Congress passed a significant reform law – the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 – that the VA has sought to use the new authority provided by Congress to remove a senior executive. As the VA continues its efforts to change the culture of the department and provide timely access to high-quality care, it must continue to ensure removal actions are supported by strong cases based on the available facts and evidence in order to ensure make certain that firings are upheld on review and bad actors do not return to the VA.”