President Trump Donates First Quarter Salary To VA
Consistent with past promises, President Trump has donated his first quarter’s salary. This time, the president is donating his money to Veterans Affairs.
“The president’s gift underscores his promise to do all that he can for veterans,” acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a briefing. The money is going to go to caregiver support programs, an area that has been a point of contention in recent months.
President Trump has promised to donate his entire year’s salary to different causes, and he has previously donated to the Department of Education, Department of Transportation and more.
The salary for the president is $400,000 annually. It isn’t uncommon for presidents to donate some or all of their salary. Trump’s donations have been timely, this time coinciding with the current $52 billion veterans package going through Congress.
VA medical overhaul
On Thursday, the House voted 347-70 in favor of a $52 billion plan to overhaul medical care options for veterans. The goal is to give veterans a stable option for healthcare through the VA, something that has been an issue in the past.
Now that it has been approved by the House, the Senate will need to vote on the plan for it to go into effect. If the House’s vote was any indication, the bill should have no trouble getting approved by the Senate.
If and when the bill goes into effect, it will give VA members more healthcare options outside of the Veterans Health Administration. Opponents of the bill have said that this will eventually lead to the privatization of VA healthcare, but proponents disagree.
By giving veterans outside options, the VA is going to be able to reduce the painfully long waits that many veterans have had to put up with. It also gives veterans more options, and that can reduce travel time.
Even with the size of the bill, the effects will only be a temporary solution to a growing problem. The effectiveness of this VA bill will likely determine the direction lawmakers move in the future.
New VA Secretary
Funding for healthcare isn’t the only big item for the VA.
The VA is still looking for a new permanent secretary. President Trump’s first nominee stepped out of the running after it started to look like they would not secure the position.
Fortunately, the VA could be seeing a new secretary soon.
Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie was nominated by Trump to be the new permanent secretary earlier today. Wilkie has done a good job as the acting secretary, and he had started to emerge as a popular candidate for the position.
The VA has been without a secretary since March when Trump fired David Shulkin, and the position has been open since then.
While the VA has had uncertainties over the past few months with both financing and leadership, it seems that all the pieces are starting to come together. While some of the fixes are only going to be temporary, they could prove to be steps in the right direction.