Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting Donald Trump gave a policy speech Monday at the Westin Virginia Beach Town Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
During that speech, he committed to ensuring "our veterans are served with the best medical care," if elected president, saying the current administration has "betrayed our veterans' trust." He also outlined a 10-point plan to reform the VA and make veterans' healthcare a "top priority."
"The men and women who have served in our armed forces represent the very best of America," he said. "Now is the time to follow their example of unity, public service and selfless devotion to our country. We made a promise to these heroes: You defend America, and America will defend you. But that promise has been broken by our politicians, like so many other promises our country has made."
Outlining a veritable laundry list of examples of fraud, waste and abuse within the VA, Trump said, "Can you imagine the waste and corruption we'll find when we begin a full investigation in January of 2017?" He said his efforts to correct the situation, if elected in November, will entail a 10-point plan of action:
- Appoint a Secretary of Veterans Affairs who will make it his or her personal mission to clean up the VA.
- Use every lawful authority to remove and discipline federal employees or managers who fail our Veterans or breach the public trust.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make sure the honest and dedicated people in the VA have their jobs protected, and are put in line for promotions.
- 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.
- Stop giving bonuses to people for wasting money, and start giving bonuses to people for improving service, saving lives and cutting waste.
- Reform our visa programs to ensure American Veterans are in the front, not back, of the line.
- Increase the number of mental health care professionals, and increase outreach to Veterans outside of the system.
- 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.
At the beginning of his speech, Trump took a few moments to address the recent attacks on law enforcement, saying the entire nation will be in mourning "for some time" as a result. He also made note of the need to"ensure every American feels that their safety is protected" in light of the officer-involved-shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.
"We must maintain law and order at the highest level or we will cease to have a country," he said. "I am the law and order candidate."
Trump concluded his speech by saying it was time to "Make American Great Again—And Safe Again—For All Americans."
"We will dream big and bold and daring things once more," he said. "Let me conclude by paying tribute to every single American hero who has served this country, and most especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Our debt to them is eternal and everlasting. We are going to fight for our military and our law enforcement personnel the same way they have fought for us."
Click here to read his entire speech, which includes footnotes.
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