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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 598 - Department of Veterans Affairs Physicians' and Dentists' Compensation and Labor-Relations Act

January 28, 1991

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House)
(Montgomery (D) MS and three others)

The Administration opposes the enactment of H.R. 598.

—   Although a pay increase for VA physicians and dentists is needed, the provisions of the bill are excessive. For example, the bill would permit VA's Chief Medical Director to receive a salary of up to $200,000 annually, and the Deputy CMD could receive up to $198,200 annually. Other VA physicians could receive pay up to $180,000 annually. These salaries represent only the maximum Federal pay that VA physicians could receive. In addition, many VA physicians supplement their income through employment with non-VA hospitals and medical schools.

—   The maximum pay rates m H.R. 598 exceed the maximum rates for other Federal civilian and military physicians. The maximum rate for non-VA civilian physicians is $139,800 — the Level I rate for Cabinet Secretaries. The maximum rate for military physicians is generally $144,000 — the rate for a military grade level 06 (captain/colonel).

—   The Administration's 101st Congress proposal is more realistic and would meet VA's recruitment and retention needs. The Administration's bill was estimated to cost $40 million annually as compared to the $63 million annual cost of H.R. 598.

—   The honoraria exemption for VA physicians, dentists, and certain other VA personnel is objectionable and inconsistent with Presidential policy that ethics requirements be applied uniformly to all employees, without exceptions. Senate and House Committee hearings on a government-wide solution to the honoraria ban are scheduled for next week. Singling out these VA employees for complete exemption from the honoraria ban is unfair to other Federal employees.

George Bush, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 598 - Department of Veterans Affairs Physicians' and Dentists' Compensation and Labor-Relations Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/330700