MILITARY

House moves ahead on bill to make it easier to fire at VA

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, center, accompanied by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, left, R-Fla., left, and Kathleen Fogarty, Director of the James A. Haley Medical Center, speaks at the James A. Haley Medical Center in Tampa, Fla. The Republican-led House is moving ahead on a bill aimed at making it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees for misconduct or poor performance, a source of ongoing tension with the Obama administration.  (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, center, accompanied by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, left, R-Fla., left, and Kathleen Fogarty, Director of the James A. Haley Medical Center, speaks at the James A. Haley Medical Center in Tampa, Fla. The Republican-led House is moving ahead on a bill aimed at making it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees for misconduct or poor performance, a source of ongoing tension with the Obama administration. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Republican-led House is moving ahead on a bill aimed at making it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees for misconduct or poor performance — a source of ongoing tension with the Obama administration.

The bill would shorten the time employees are given to respond to proposed discipline or firing and would eliminate a provision that allows senior executives to appeal disciplinary actions to an independent review board.

GOP lawmakers have been urging the VA to fire more workers to begin to improve the scandal-plagued agency.

The chairman of the House veterans panel, Florida congressman Jeff Miller, says lack of accountability is "the biggest obstacle standing in the way of VA reform."

Miller says reform efforts "are doomed to fail" until the problem is fixed.