The president of the largest union of government employees has come under fire for giving a speech in which he threatened to “whoop” VA Secretary Robert McDonald’s “ass” and called House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman GOP Rep. [crscore]Jeff Miller[/crscore] “a fool.”
“I like Bob McDonald,” J. David Cox, head of the American Federation of Government Employees, said, while delivering a rousing speech at a union conference in Washington, D.C., Sunday. “I’m prepared to work with Bob McDonald. But I am also prepared to whoop Bob McDonald’s ass. He’s going to start treating us as the labor partner … or we will whoop his ass, I promise you.”
This speech, perhaps unbeknownst to Cox, was being recorded. The Daily Caller News Foundation has obtained a copy.
Just before commenting on what he might do to McDonald’s behind, Cox applauded conference-goers for fighting reform bills aimed at changing how the Department of Veterans Affairs does business, particularly with hiring and firing.
“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the hard work that’s going on,” Cox began. “You’ve been on the ground every day of your lives. You’ve been fighting bad, bad, bad legislation.”
One bit of bad legislation Cox specifically called out is the VA Accountability Act. Cox referred to the bill in his speech as the “Rubio bill,” which AFGE’s “champion on the hill,” Democratic Rep. [crscore]Mark Takano[/crscore], has fought. Cox apparently finds Miller, a staunch supporter of the bill, so abominable that he regrets even sharing the same first name as the man.
“[Takano] has fought the bad Rubio bill, he has fought that fool that thinks he’s chair of the House VA. I’m sorry we even have the same name—you know, I’m Jeff, and he’s Jeff. I may have to change mine and just go by ‘J.'”
Miller has been instrumental in supporting numerous pieces of legislation that AFGE absolutely detests, causing a certain amount of enmity between the committee and the union, specifically in regards to the Accountability Act. The bill would provide the VA authority to fire or punish an employee for two reasons: misconduct or poor performance. The legislation has failed repeatedly to move through Congress because of Democratic opposition. President Barack Obama has said himself that even if did manage to pass, he would issue a veto.
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee did not take kindly to Cox’s spouting off.
“Chairman Miller is dedicated to reforming the dysfunctional status quo at the Department of Veterans Affairs while J. David Cox is committed to keeping a broken system in place,” a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee spokesman told TheDCNF. “And judging by the many successful pieces of VA reform legislation Chairman Miller has led the charge to pass – including a law that is making it easier for VA to discipline senior executives – Miller is clearly doing a better job as HVAC chairman than Cox is as AFGE president. This appears to have upset Cox to the point where he has resorted to name-calling and threats of violence. We hope Cox seeks professional help for his anger management issues.”
The American Federation of Government Employees did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
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