Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Friday the new law easing restrictions on firing VA employees will "fix issues that we know have been broken for a long time."
"I believe to be able to move people out who have lost their way is going to be part of the solution in fixing the VA," Shulkin said at a forum hosted by the George W. Bush Institute, which was moderated by Politico.
"In fact, without that, without the ability to get the right people in these jobs and the right people in our leadership positions, I don't think we're going to be able to reform the VA."
He added "after today, I think we're going to be able to change that course in VA, and it will be a positive step forward."
Multiple scandals at VA medical centers have plagued the agency, and legislation to more easily fire problem employees found widespread support in Congress. The VA can also recoup bonuses and pensions for senior executives who have been convicted of felonies.
"What happened was a national disgrace and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls," President Donald Trump said at the signing of the bill, according to The Washington Post. "Outdated laws kept the government from holding those who failed our veterans accountable. Today we are finally changing those laws."
House Speaker Paul Ryan applauded the signing as "a major victory for our vets."
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