Children place pinwheels on a fence at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., on April 11, 2019, during Child Abuse Prevention Month. DANIEL BROSAM/U.S. AIR FORCE
Children place pinwheels on a fence at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., on April 11, 2019, during Child Abuse Prevention Month. DANIEL BROSAM/U.S. AIR FORCE

Partisan fighting surrounds effort to stop VA from hiring child care workers charged with crimes

by Nikki Wentling
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — A Republican congressman introduced legislation Wednesday to prevent individuals charged with certain crimes from working at Department of Veterans Affairs child care centers – a measure that sparked controversy among members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, a typically bipartisan body.

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., introduced the VA Child Care Protection Act after failing last week to get the measure attached to another bill as an amendment.

The legislation would prohibit the VA from contracting with a child care provider if they employ anyone who has been charged with certain crimes, unless they were found innocent and the provider suspended the employee while their case was going through the criminal justice system. It would apply to sex offenses, offenses involving a child victim, a violent crime, a drug felony or any other offense “that VA determines appropriate,” according to a summary for the bill.

In February, the House easily passed legislation to provide free child care to some veterans at VA facilities nationwide. The measure included a provision that prohibits the VA from contracting with child care workers who were convicted of crimes.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.590935

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