The legislation, which many veterans' groups supported, cleared the House last week by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 368-55, replacing an earlier version that Democrats had criticized as overly unfair to employees.

"Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor", Lee said in a joint statement with Sens.

Watch above, via The White House. "So both parties really had to come together but finally you have a president, President Trump, that agreed with the house and senate majority to pass this".

Federal employee unions opposed the measure. It will also increase protections for whistleblowers to help make certain that they are not retaliated against for speaking up about wrongdoings at the department. Shulkin, who served as an undersecretary in the VA in the Obama administration, supports the legislation Trump signed Friday.

Shulkin pushed for this kind of reform bill during his confirmation process and in the first months of his tenure, arguing that the department was "still in critical condition" and more accountability was needed to improve the treatment veterans receive.

Right now, it takes up to 264 days for an appeal to move through the process when trying to remove a bad employee.

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"Every veteran receiving care at VA facilities will now know that those entrusted with their care can be held responsible for their actions".

The bill also turns another of Trump's campaign into law by creating a permanent VA accountability office, which Trump established by executive order in April.

"In just a short time, we've already achieved transformative change at the VA - and believe me, we're just getting started", Trump said.

"In the three years since committee oversight revealed that veterans at VA were dying while waiting for care, we have heard far too many instances of employees who don't live up to the standards expected of those who serve America's veterans but can not be fired for wrongdoing".

President Donald Trump signs the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington.


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