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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today urged their Senate colleagues to support the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, bipartisan legislation they introduced to improve accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

The legislation (S.1094) is currently being debated in the Senate, and a vote on final passage is expected later today. 

An excerpt from Isakson’s remarks during a colloquy on the Senate floor with Tester is included below. 

“Mr. President, I am pleased to rise today on the 73rd anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, Omaha Beach, and Sword Beach by 156,000 brave Americans who saved our freedom and liberty for the American people, as well as all for Europe, who put to an end of the reign of Adolf Hitler, and who remind me every day as chairman of the [Senate] Veterans’ Committee why I’m here today in the U.S. Senate. And that’s to see to it that we take care of those who have taken care of us. 

“Somebody asked me this morning, ‘Was it a coincidence that D-Day was 73 years ago today on the same day as this vote? I said it was divine providence that we’re on the floor today paying back those brave 156,000 who invaded those beaches to make the Department of Veterans Affairs a more favorable agency than it is already. 

“I’m proud to be on the floor to lead part of the debate today with Senator Tester, my ranking member on the committee and my dear friend, on a bill that I think is of great significance, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. But you know, the best quote was not one that I could come up with, or that Jon could come up with. The best quote came from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the IAVA. When asked about this bill, they said that, ‘This is the strongest VA accountability measure that can be signed into law.’ 

“Which means we are reaching into every corner of the problems that have existed at the VA in the last year or years. We are making sure that we’re making the corrections necessary to ensure the VA is an accountable organization. We are doing this in a bipartisan fashion, together, Democrats and Republicans alike. 

“As I have said very often, there aren’t Republican casualties and Democratic casualties on the battlefields of war – there are American citizens who fought and died for this country. So there is no room for politics in providing for them the benefits that are necessary to see to it that they get what they deserve.” 

To view the video of the colloquy between Isakson and Tester, click here. More information on the bill can be found here


Senators Introduce Bill to Increase Accountability at VA 

Isakson Highlights Broad Support for Accountability Bill from Key Stakeholders 

VA Accountability Measure One Step Closer to Senate Passage 

Senate to Vote on VA Accountability Measure Tuesday