Democratic Party - Democratic National Committee

07/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/09/2024 13:51

As Donald Trump Fails and Disparages America’s Veterans, President Biden Delivers on His Promise to Support Our Nation’s Veterans Arrow

DNC Director of Outreach Communications Tracy King released the following statement:

"President Biden recognizes the enormous bravery and sacrifices of our nation's veterans and service members, and he's keeping his promises to them, from delivering the PACT Act - which led to one of the largest health care expansions for veterans in decades - to historically low veteran unemployment rates. President Biden's achievements are in stark contrast to Donald Trump's disrespect to our nation's veterans in both words and actions, from his unacceptable remarks calling them 'losers' and 'suckers' to his repeated failures to support veterans during his administration. This November, there is one candidate on the ballot with a record of disparaging service members and pushing to cut funding for veterans' benefits, and that's the same candidate who will lose again to Joe Biden this November."

President Biden signed the PACT Act into law, one of the largest health care expansions for veterans in decades.

Associated Press: "In raw numbers, more than 1 million claims have been granted to veterans since Biden signed the so-called PACT Act into law in August 2022, the administration said Tuesday. That amounts to about 888,000 veterans and survivors in all 50 states who have been able to receive disability benefits under the law. That totals about $5.7 billion in benefits given to veterans and their survivors, according to the administration."

White House Fact Sheet: "Under President Biden's leadership, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has processed claims at the fastest rate in history, and is delivering health care to more veterans than ever before."

Associated Press: "About 111,000 veterans who are believed to have toxic exposure have enrolled in VA health care since the law was enacted. In addition, more than 4.1 million veterans have completed toxic screenings, which are questionnaires to analyze their potential exposure and determine whether additional tests are required…

"[An Air Force veteran] said recent changes have made services more efficient, particularly at his location in Wilmington, Delaware, where a worker helped clue him in about the PACT Act. He applied for help with his psoriasis, a skin condition, and his disability benefits expanded. 'It's been a huge impact for me,' he said."

Disabled veteran and advocate Ted Corcoran: "405,000 veterans have enrolled in VA healthcare since President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act. To put that number into perspective, that is equal to Michigan Stadium, Beaver Stadium, Ohio Stadium, and Rose Bowl at full capacity COMBINED. That is a massive number of veterans."

President Biden promised to make veteran support a core pillar of his administration's agenda - and he has delivered every step of the way, helping lower veteran unemployment rates, fighting to reduce veteran homelessness, supporting veteran-owned small businesses, and more.

The Hill: "The U.S. is seeing some of the lowest ever unemployment rates for veterans, with the Department of Labor reporting a veteran unemployment rate of only 3 percent as of February."

Department of Veterans Affairs: "Ending Veteran homelessness is a top priority of VA and President Biden, who has made supporting Veterans a key pillar of his Unity Agenda for the nation. In 2022 alone, VA housed more than 40,00 formerly homeless Veterans, prevented more than 17,700 Veterans and their families from falling into homelessness, and helped nearly 191,700 additional Veteran families who were experiencing financial difficulties retain their homes or avoid foreclosure."

SBA: "Veteran-owned businesses: In FY23, the SBA backed 2,800 loans to veteran-owned businesses, totaling $1.2 billion. Total loans are up 33% under the Biden-Harris Administration, and total loan dollars are up 40%."

Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly shown he has no respect for the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.

The Atlantic: "Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead.

"Trump said, 'Why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers.' In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as 'suckers' for getting killed."

Washington Post: "[Trump's comments] stunned nearly everyone in the room, and some vowed that they would never repeat them. Indeed, they have not been reported until now. 'I wouldn't go to war with you people,' Trump told the assembled brass. Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, 'You're a bunch of dopes and babies.'"

New York Times: "'People familiar with Mr. Trump's comments say he has long scorned those who served in Vietnam as being too dumb to have gotten out of it, as he did through a medical diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels. At other times, according to those familiar with the remarks, Mr. Trump would marvel at people choosing military service over making money.'"

Washington Post: "Trump unleashed his disdain, calling Afghanistan a 'loser war.' That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military leaders at the table but also the men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chief's commands, and here he was calling the war they had been fighting a loser war. 'You're all losers,' Trump said. 'You don't know how to win anymore.'"

The Hill: "President Trump on Wednesday minimized the injuries of several U.S. service members who suffered concussions during an Iranian missile attack on two Iraqi bases that house American personnel."

Trump's MAGA agenda was a failure for America's veterans. As president, Trump proposed harmful cuts to veterans' benefits and allowed wealthy Mar-a-Lago members to steer policy at the VA.

USA Today: "Although President Donald Trump's proposed budget plan for the 2018 fiscal year would increase spending across the Department of Veterans Affairs, the proposal would also slash individual unemployment benefits for disabled veterans by more than $40.8 billion over 10 years."

Military.com: "Elderly Vets Could Face Benefits Cut Under Trump Budget"

"Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin defended Wednesday a proposal in President Donald Trump's federal budget plan that would cut a benefit paying thousands of dollars annually to disabled elderly veterans."

Military Times: "Congressional investigators found evidence that the three men helped steer policy decisions on VA medical records issues and discussed ways to potentially monetize VA patient health data. Along with emails to senior VA staff, the trio also frequently contacted senior White House staff on VA policy issues and briefed the president on their proposals, all without any official federal role."

Trump and his Project 2025 cronies are plotting to jeopardize benefits for veterans, while lining the pockets of their extreme MAGA allies.

Raw Story: "Project 2025 will rob veterans and active duty troops of billions in benefits"

"Among other recommendations, the plan proposes eliminating concurrent eligibility for both service-related disability benefits and military retirement benefits…

"The plan also proposes to end enrollment in VA medical care for veterans in two low-priority groups to save an estimated $69 billion through 2032 and narrow eligibility for veterans disability by excluding disabilities that cannot be related to military service…

"Project 2025 also calls for privatizing the Department of Defense's current TRICARE system offered to military families."

Mandate for Leadership, Project 2025: "Rescind all departmental clinical policy directives that are contrary to principles of conservative governance starting with abortion services and gender reassignment surgery."

Fulcrum: "Project 2025 focuses on conservative political goals and extensive outsourcing, risking politicizing the VA further and undermining its ability to serve veterans effectively."

Trump's record of failing our nation's veterans is so bad that he's resorted to taking credit for President Obama's accomplishments.

Associated Press: "Boastful on the occasion of Memorial Day, President Donald Trump and his Veterans Affairs secretary are claiming full credit for health care improvements that were underway before they took office. Trump said he passed a private-sector health care program, Veterans Choice, after failed attempts by past presidents for the last '45 years.' That's not true. The Choice program, which allows veterans to see doctors outside the government-run VA system at taxpayer expense, was first passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama."