(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (H.R. 2288), which streamlines the process for veterans to appeal disability benefit claims.
“In just a few moments right here on this stage, I will sign a historic bill that the American Legion helped us deliver – The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act – and you all know what that means. No longer will veterans be waiting for years to get an answer to their appeals. They will receive timely updates, and they will get decisions much more quickly in a fraction of the time, and the Legion I have to say pressed so hard for that legislation,” Trump said during a speech at the American Legion in Reno, Nev., prior to signing the bill into law.
He also touted the gains he’s made thus far with improving the lives of veterans, including improving wait times at VA facilities and holding VA employees accountable.
“To fulfill our patriotic duties, we must take care of our great veterans. One year ago at this gathering … I promised you that I would make it my priority to fix the broken VA and deliver our veterans the care they so richly deserve, and you see what’s been happening. Now you have a true reformer in Secretary David Shulkin. He has done an incredible job. He’s working night and day to implement the 10-point reform plan that I discussed with you last year,” Trump said.
“Already we have made incredible progress. We are publishing wait times online for every VA facility, so you know what the wait is. We’ve delivered same day emergency mental health services at every VA medical center. We’ve opened the promised White House VA hotline,” he said.
“We’ve dramatically increased the number of veterans approved to see the doctor of their choice and signal legislation to continue that very important choice program that I spoke to you last year, and I want to thank the American Legion for your help in getting this done. You have been so helpful,” the president said.
Congress has been trying to pass VA accountability legislation for the past 40 years, Trump said.
“So if somebody that works at the VA is bad to the people of the VA, disrespectful, not treating our fellow patriots well, we look at them, and we say, ‘You’re fired,’” he said.
“They aren’t doing a good job, they’re out, because we want people—we have great people at the VA, but we want people that do a great job. We weren’t able to do that before. That was a hard piece of legislation to get passed. It’s been worked on for so long. We got it done, so we’re very proud of that,” Trump said.