Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered a rousing campaign speech Monday, telling his audience he intends to completely transform the Department of Veterans Affairs.
During his speech, he released a 10-point plan for reforming the VA, which he said is “part of the rigged system.”
“Fixing this corruption will be one of my many and highest priorities, and believe me, it will happen, I’m very good at things like that,” Trump said in Virginia.
To combat that sort of corruption, Trump’s plan includes launching a full investigation starting in January of waste and fraud plaguing the department.
Shortly after the investigation concludes, Congress will receive the results in a report intended to kick-start serious reform.
The first point on the plan is the appointment of a VA secretary who will actually serve veterans, as opposed to serving the priorities of the Obama administration.
Trump’s also asking for cooperation from Congress to move forward legislation that allows the VA secretary to either reprimand or fire any employee for jeopardizing the “health, safety or well-being of a veteran.”
Unresponsiveness and whistleblower backlash is a fairly common problem at the VA, and so Trump will create a 24-hour White House line to take into account reports of wrongdoing.
Although Trump enjoys wide support among military personnel and veterans, his plan wasn’t well-received by groups like the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). This is partly because of the emphasis on removing employees at will for wrongdoing and also because Trump wants to solidify veteran access to private health care.
“Under a Trump Administration, no veteran will die waiting for service,” Trump’s plan reads. “These days are over starting January 2017.”
AFGE officials said that Trump’s ideas are little more than “an outrageous betrayal of our nation’s promise to care for the men and women who have borne the battle,” according to Military Times.
Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, himself an Iraq War vet, added to the criticism by saying, “I think there is a risk that people will just hear his talking points and think they’re credible, when he doesn’t have any real understanding of the facts.”
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