President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating a new accountability office at the Department of Veterans Affairs that will make it easier to fire bad employees at the long-troubled agency.
“This executive order makes it clear that we will never ever tolerate substandard care for our great veterans,” Trump said.
The office is similar to one proposed by Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson, who leads the Senate VA Committee, in bipartisan legislation last year. Some of his GOP colleagues had criticized the proposal for not going far enough to quickly remove problem employees.
Isakson was at the VA headquarters for the signing ceremony. In an interview Wednesday afternoon, he said he was pleased the Trump administration, and specifically VA Secretary David Shulkin, was moving forward with the initiative.
“You’re going to see a lot of the things that people had wanted to see change at the VA change, and that’s important,” he said. “A lot of that comes from Secretary Shulkin, but the fact that the president wants to come to the VA to highlight that in his first 100 days shows how important this is to the president.”
The executive order also creates a task force to search for fraud and waste at the VA.