President Donald Trump touted his “VA Mission Act” last week, but he doesn’t want to pay for it.
Last Wednesday, Trump held a ceremony in the Rose Garden where he praised himself for signing the bill, which he claimed would give veterans more healthcare options outside of the Veterans Affairs administration.
That same night, however, The White House released a statement objecting to three oversight provisions in the bill he signed. The White House also sent a memo to Congress objecting to a Senate plan to fund the Mission Act, calling for lawmakers to cut other programs to cover the cost instead.
Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) explained to The Washington Post that the only way the bill could be funded now is by dramatically slashing other programs that help vets.
“As it stands, current budget caps will not allow for this level of spending to occur without requiring deep cuts to existing VA programs,” he said. “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.”
VoteVets official Will Fischer blasted Trump for exploiting veterans for political points only to shortchange them in policy in a statement to Shareblue Media.
“It’s just like Donald Trump to sign a deal, and then not pay for it,” he said. “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.”