Politics

Donald Trump Raised Military Pay, But Then Went And Did This…

Last Wednesday, President Trump held an attention-grabbing Rose Garden ceremony where he signed the “VA Mission Act,” which is intended to help improve veterans’ health care.

Surrounded by veterans in the Rose Garden, the president said, “These are sweeping, historic changes.” He went on, “There’s never been anything like this in the history of the VA — never been anything close — and we will not rest until the job is fully done.”

While the president enjoyed the opportunity to create a spectacle in signing the legislation, it appears he does not actually want the bill to be implemented. The very evening of the bill-signing ceremony, after the cameras and veterans were gone, the president released a statement that expressed objections to several provisions of the bill he just signed.

In addition to his statement, the White House sent out a memo that made its way around Congress. That memo objected to the Senate’s plan to fund the bill. The Trump administration wants the bill to be funded by cutting existing VA programs.

Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) is the ranking Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Walz explains:

“As it stands, current budget caps will not allow for this level of spending to occur without requiring deep cuts to existing VA programs. This means current programs investing in VA infrastructure, direct patient care, suicide prevention, medical research, job training, and many more vital veterans programs could face cuts in funding in order to pay for care in the community under this new plan, something the Veteran Service Organizations have warned against. This paints a clear picture of a VA forced to cannibalize itself in order to pay for care in the private sector. Unfortunately, multiple amendments offered by my fellow House Democrats and me to fix these funding issues were voted down by Republicans.”

The president is interested in the optics of supporting veterans, but not the hard work and money required to actually support veterans. Iraq war veteran and director of government relations for VoteVets, Will Fischer, reacted to the president’s underhanded move saying, “It’s just like Donald Trump to sign a deal, and then not pay for it.”

Fischer continued, “So, as he’s done many times in his life, Donald Trump has made a big production, but when it comes to paying, he’s going to leave us high and dry.”

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