U.S. President, Donald Trump, on Friday signed a bill to improve services for military veterans following a scandal that plagued the government agency responsible for providing health care.
Surrounded by veterans and other supporters of the legislation, Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act at a White House ceremony.
Trump made improved care for veterans a promise of his presidential campaign, and said he was “thrilled to be able to sign that promise into law.’’
He said that the scandal of long, waiting times for veterans to see doctors and other widespread problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospital system was a “national disgrace’’.
According to him, it meant that the government failed to keep its promise to people who have served in the country’s armed forces.
Trump spoke of a “nightmare for veterans,’’ noting that some patients died waiting for care.
“The new law would make it possible for the federal government to fire managers who under previous law could remain on the department’s payroll,” Trump said.
The president also commended David Shulkin, one of the few holdovers from the Obama administration, whom he tapped in January to lead the department.
With his job approval rating at around 40 per cent, Trump lately has been touting his administration’s achievements, while criticising opposition Democrats for opposing his reforms.
“I’ve helped pass and signed 38 Legislative Bills, mostly with no Democratic support, and gotten rid of massive amounts of regulations. Nice!’’ he wrote on Twitter on Friday.