Speaking from Virginia Beach, Virginia on Monday afternoon, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump released a ten point plan to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Veterans should come first in the country they fought to protect, and under a Trump administration, they will,” the billionaire declared during his speech at the Westin Virginia Beach Town Center. “We are going to fight for our military and our law enforcement personnel the same way they have fought for us. We will be a safe, strong, and proud country once again.”
Trump spoke about ten steps he will take if elected president to reform the VA:
1.I will appoint a Secretary of Veterans Affairs who will make it his or her personal mission to clean up the VA. The Secretary’s sole mandate will be to serve our Veterans – not bureaucrats, not politicians, but Veterans. Amazingly, President Obama’s VA Secretary recently downplayed concerns about waiting times by saying that people also wait in line at Disneyland.
2.I am going to use every lawful authority to remove and discipline federal employees or managers who fail our Veterans or breach the public trust.
3.I am going to ask Congress to pass legislation that ensures the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has the authority to remove or discipline any employee who risks the health, safety or well-being of any Veteran.
4.I am going to appoint a commission to investigate all the wrongdoing at the VA and then present those findings to Congress as the basis for bold legislative reform.
5.I am going to make sure the honest and dedicated people in the VA have their jobs protected, and are put in line for promotions.
6.I will create a private White House Hotline – that is answered by a real person 24 hours a day – to ensure that no valid complaint about VA wrongdoing falls through the cracks. I will instruct my staff that if a valid complaint is not addressed that the issue be brought directly to me, and I will pick up the phone and fix it myself, if need be. That’s a promise.
7.We are going to stop giving bonuses to people for wasting money, and start giving bonuses to people for improving service, saving lives and cutting waste. If an employee finds a smart way to save a large amount of money that also creates better outcomes for our Veterans, then a small, responsible portion of the money saved will be given as a one-time bonus and the rest will be returned to taxpayers.
8.We are going to reform our visa programs to ensure American Veterans are in the front, not back, of the line.
9.We are going to increase the number of mental health care professionals, and increase outreach to Veterans outside of the system.
10.We are going to ensure every Veteran in America has the choice to seek care at the VA, or to seek private medical care paid for by our government. Never again will we allow a Veteran to suffer or die waiting for the care they so richly deserve.
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