Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Trump to sign VA reform bill, making good on a campaign promise

President Trump on Friday signed into law Friday legislation created to increase accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs, taking a small step at making good on a campaign promise to improve services and health care for vets.

"For many years the government failed to keep its promises to our veterans".

Trump, Shulkin and an audience of dozens had gathered in the East Room to sign into law the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which aims to protect VA whistleblowers and make it easier to fire department employees.

"Veterans were put on secret wait lists, given the wrong medication, given the bad treatments, and ignored in moments of crisis for them", he said. What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls. During the 2016 Campaign the President promised to dismiss VA workers "who let our veterans down". It passed the Senate by a unanimous voice vote.

The measure was prompted by a 2014 scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, where some veterans died as they waited months for care.

The law, called the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, makes the process by which VA Secretary David Shulkin can fire an employee simpler by affording him more authority to get rid of employees and shortening the review process for said firing.

Donald Trump elected 45th president of the United States.

Smiling, Trump responded, "Better be, David, or ..."

"The administration is committed to ensuring the nation's veterans have access to the care, services, and benefits they have earned", the White House said in a statement about the legislation.

Concerned Veterans for America launched a massive grassroots effort to garner support for this bill, holding events across the country, making hundreds of thousands of phone calls to Congressional offices and launching online ads targeting all lawmakers to support it.

The bill was the 40th piece of legislation so far signed by President Trump, according to NPR, though the majority of those pieces have repealed Obama administration policies or modified already-existing programs. "This historic bill is a significant step forward in the fight to correct the toxic VA culture and get veterans a step closer to the care they deserve", added CVA Executive Director Mark Lucas.

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