President Trump is taking his job to drain the swamp very seriously, and he’ starting with one of the most important corners of our government bureaucracy… the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA).
In a recent report from the Daily Caller we learned that the new administration was moving to drain the VA swamp and fix the problems that had become endemic within the agency.
Five hundred and forty-eight Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees have been terminated since President Donald Trump took office, indicating that his campaign pledge to clean up “probably the most incompetently run agency in the United States” by relentlessly putting his TV catch phrase “you’re fired” into action was more than just empty rhetoric.
Another 200 VA workers were suspended and 33 demoted, according to data newly published by the department as part of VA Secretary David Shulkin’s commitment to greater transparency. Those disciplined include 22 senior leaders, more than 70 nurses, 14 police officers, and 25 physicians.
Also disciplined were a program analyst dealing with the Government Accountability Office, which audits the department, a public affairs specialist, a chief of police and a chief of surgery.
VA Secretary David Shulkin has been empowered by President Trump to make sure that the agency is running smoothly and giving the best care possible to our veterans. Under the previous administration the VA had become a morass of corruption, waste, and fraud and then VA Secretary Bob McDonald seemed at a loss on how to fix the issues he was dealing with. At one point he even frustrated millions of Americans by refusing to fire the bad actors in the VA and then by paying out millions in settlements to workers who had been fired for cause.
McDonald argued that ‘“you can’t fire your way to excellence” and blamed “negative news articles” for a morose culture, rather than the individuals perpetrating the misconduct described in those articles.’
Thankfully, the nation has moved on from the bankrupt Obama administration, and the weak-kneed leadership of Bob McDonald and we are now living in the age of Trump where the micromanaging has ended and the agency leaders have been empowered to solve problems instead of simply allowing them to fester.
New Secretary Shulkin has already even pressed Congress to pass laws making it easier to fire deficient employees and he’s begun agitating (loudly) in the media for action on his proposals. He recently told the media that “Just last week we were forced to take back an employee after they were convicted no more than three times for DWI and had served a 60 day jail sentence … Our accountability processes are clearly broken.” Clearly the current system is broken, and it seems that Shulkin and his boss, President Donald Trump, may be the two men best equipped to “fix” the problem.