WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) today introduced bipartisan legislation to reform hiring for human resources positions at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. The VA Hospitals Establishing Leadership Performance (HELP) Act, introduced with Representative Joe Cunningham (D-SC), instructs the VA to establish qualifications for each HR position within the VHA and establish standardized performance metrics similar to the private sector. HR departments at the VA currently have no such requirements.

“The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to care for those ‘who shall have borne the battle,’” said Rep. Bost. “Unfortunately, as we have seen both in our own backyard and around the country, the VA cannot fulfill this mission if they cannot recruit and retain highly qualified staff. The VA HELP Act ensures that VA hospitals hire to the highest possible standard so that our veterans receive the best quality care that they deserve once they return home.”

Bost previously introduced the VA HELP Act in the 114th Congress, where it passed the House unanimously.

The bill is supported by several VSOs, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a report identifying serious human capital challenges and flaws within VA’s Human Resources operations that hamper VA’s ability to effectively serve veterans.