For most of the Obama administration’s reign of failure, the VA was a festering cesspool of fraud, waste, corruption, and incompetence on an epic level. Twice Congress tried to make it easier to fire VA employees. A 2014 bill came to nothing when the Obama administration, ever in the thrall of public employee unions, decided it would not enforce the law. I think we’ve heard that one before. Congress undertook another try to pass the bill in the fall of 2016 which came to nothing largely because the VA management and the public employee unions were not in favor of anything that would make them accountable and Obama announced he would veto the bill if it passed the Senate.

There is another bill under consideration in the House and VA administration David Shulkin is suddenly championing the legislation for a most peculiar reason. From a VA press release:

After a thorough internal review of an employee of the Michael DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston caught watching pornography while with a patient, the designated proposing official recommended removal from federal service.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) immediately removed the employee in question from patient care and placed the employee on administrative duties. Due to current law, the deciding official cannot affect a final determination for 30 days from the date the proposal for removal was made. VA is committed to ensuring every employee retains his or her right to due process while at the same time reducing the time it takes to remove employees who have engaged in misconduct.

“This is an example of why we need accountability legislation as soon as possible,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin. “It’s unacceptable that VA has to wait 30 days to act on a proposed removal.”

Indeed, Shulkin took to the airwaves to make his displeasure unknown:

It is really hard to imagine a state of affairs where an employee caught in the act of misconduct gets an extended paid vacation at taxpayer expense before being fired… if that ever happens.

If this reform of the VA happens maybe we should consider making porn freely available in federal agencies as a way of reducing the workforce.