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The pending bill to head off a partial government shutdown as of October 1 contains several provisions designed to strengthen whistleblower protections at the VA, including mandatory discipline of management officials who take reprisal. That’s because the funding extension was attached to an appropriations bill for the VA that already contained that language; while the general extension would last only through December 9, the VA portion would be for the full upcoming fiscal year. Similar whistleblowing-related language is in several other bills in both the House and Senate, one of which passed the House recently. Those bills in addition would restrict appeal rights of VA employees in disciplinary cases and restrict awards there, among other personnel provisions; the funding bill does not contain those changes. As with the other potential changes, the VA whistleblower-related provisions are widely seen as a potential model for later application to other agencies.