- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the Senate’s vote on a VA accountability bill (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

The Senate has passed legislation to make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire its employees. It’s an effort touted by President Donald Trump to hold the VA accountable after years of problems.

The measure passed by voice vote.

The bipartisan bill would lower the burden of proof required to dismiss VA employees.

The Senate bill was viewed as more in balance with workers’ rights than a version that passed the House in March. The Senate bill calls for a longer appeal process than the House version: 180 days compared to 45 days. VA executives would be held to a tougher standard than rank-and-file employees.

The bill now goes back to the House, where the revisions are expected to be approved.


3:25 p.m.

The Senate is poised to approve legislation to make firing employees easier for the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s part of an accountability effort urged by President Donald Trump.

The Senate bill comes more than three years after a 2014 scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center. Some veterans died waiting months for appointments at the center.

The measure would lower the burden of proof required to fire VA employees.

The American Federation of Government Employees is opposing the bill. But the bipartisan measure is considered to be more in balance with workers’ rights than a version passed by the House in March.

Senators are scheduled to vote on the bill later Tuesday.

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