Just another broken promise…
We all know the Veterans Administration is a mess. We have heard for years of our nation’s vets going without proper care, run down facilities, and unmet needs.
On the campaign trail, Trump was the veterans’ best friend.
Hillary certainly wasn’t.
But as I’ve said before, candidate Trump and President Trump are two different Trumps.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to address the needs of America’s veterans by setting up a White House hotline for vets that would be open 24-hours a day, to allow for vets to call in and report problems with the VA.
The hay-haired mountebank even boasted that he would answer the calls personally, when he could.
MilitaryTimes.com is reporting something quite different, four months into a Trump administration, however:
The idea was part of candidate Trump’s 10-point plan to help veterans unveiled last July. Most of the other promises are also unfulfilled, although several will require cooperation from Congress regarding additional funding or new legal authorities.
But a hotline could likely be set up through the executive powers of the president. I mean, he’s used executive orders to do everything else, so where is the hotline?
The 10-point VA plan was recently removed from Trump’s campaign website along with a host of other documents from last summer and fall. Trump’s re-election campaign said the changes were made to help better inform the public with “fact-based information” on Trump’s accomplishments, in preparation for the 2020 campaign.
So let’s not even talk about those silly Summer dreams from 2016. We’ve got a 2020 campaign to get ready for, and we’ll trot those same promises out and repost them. If any vets are still around then, they can see those old promises with fresh eyes!
Everybody’s happy, right?
As far as what moves Trump has made in the direction of keeping his promises to the vets, he signed an executive order in April to create an accountability office within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, to determine what laws they needed to hold employees of the VA responsible for incompetence or criminal activities.
Trump also pledged to create a commission “to investigate all the fraud, cover-ups, and wrongdoing that has taken place in the VA.” No such commission has yet been announced.
Well, I know that makes everyone feel better.
Last week, House and Senate lawmakers announced a compromise on new accountability legislation for department staffers that includes the ability to revoke specialty pays. That deal was reached without direct collaboration with the White House but following Trump’s general parameters.
Trump also promised to “ensure every veteran has the choice to seek care at the VA or at a private service provider” and that “under a Trump Administration, no veteran will die waiting for service.”
Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin said there are plans to be implemented later in 2017 that will restructure the department’s outside care programs.
Yeah. Keep hanging on, but it looks like Trump isn’t overly engaged in doing anything meaningful until he’s promised reelection in 2020.