News Releases

Friday, November 13, 2015

Isakson Statement on Exorbitant Bonus Spending at VA

Urges colleagues to pass legislation that prevents VA from rewarding bad actors

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today released the following statement on reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) paid more than $142 million in bonuses to executives and employees in 2014 while scandals and mismanagement plagued the agency:

“While I understand rewarding employees for good performance, it is absolutely unacceptable that the VA would pay bonuses to employees involved in its many scandals. That money should have gone towards taking care of our veterans. The VA cannot reform its culture of corruption if it keeps rewarding the bad actors who perpetuate it. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’m proud that our committee recently passed legislation to combat the issue of wrongfully awarding bonuses to employees engaged in misconduct at the VA. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass it immediately.”

At a markup earlier this year, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs passed S.627, introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., in conjunction with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., to prevent the VA from awarding bonuses to bad actors and give the VA the authority to rescind bonuses paid out to employees who are later found to have violated a department policy or law. The bill also requires the VA to keep a permanent record of employee reprimands.

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The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 114th Congress.
Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate VA Committee since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as more than 750,000 veterans.