Last-minute Veterans Choice funding bill filled with key VA hiring flexibilities

VA

By Nicole Ogrysko

An additional $2 billion for the Veterans Choice Program isn’t the only provision lawmakers rushed to pass before leaving Friday for the August recess.

Under the House Veterans Affairs Committee leadership, lawmakers managed to find a solution that replenishes the Veterans Choice Fund with an additional $2.1 billion dollars and invests in key VA functions.

But the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act also includes some significant provisions designed to help the department more quickly hire medical center professionals, retain high-quality senior executives and accurately track a growing number of vacancies.

In addition, it authorizes leases for 28 major medical facilities, a long-awaited action that the department has asked Congress to take for years.

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