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January 25th, 2017
Bill will ensure our veterans are not neglected as a result of Trump’s executive order
Washington, D.C. – In one of his first acts as President, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order implementing a 90-day hiring freeze across the executive branch, including at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced legislation today that would prohibit any hiring freeze from specifically affecting the VA.
Yesterday, the President’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, doubled down on the hiring freeze specifically at the VA, saying, “I think the VA in particular, if you look at the problems that have plagued people, hiring more people isn’t the answer.” Reports show that there are thousands of vacancies at the VA nationwide including hundreds of Primary Care Providers (PCP) and nurse practitioner vacancies.
“President Trump’s hiring freeze will have a severe and lasting impact on the VA’s ability to care for our nation’s veterans,” said Moulton. “All of the progress the VA has made on reducing wait times will come to a screeching halt. The freeze affects all aspects of care from doctors and nurses to schedulers and security guards. Anyone who’s spent time at the VA learning about their problems—as I have and the Trump team has not—knows that filling critical positions and recruiting top talent with a passion for serving our veterans as quickly and efficiently as possible is one of their biggest challenges, even bigger than firing the bad apples. It’s telling of President Trump’s character that on day one in the Oval Office he chose to leave our veterans behind. I am introducing legislation to block this hiring freeze at the VA. Our veterans deserve nothing but the best care.”
“One in twelve Oregonians is a veteran, and roughly one fifth of our vets has a service related disability. That’s a lot of people who need and deserve, often times, immediate treatment,” said Schrader. “While I’m always looking for ways to be fiscally responsible, it disturbs me that the President thinks that doing anything to prevent our veterans from receiving necessary care is in anyone’s best interest. Placing this hiring freeze on the VA is an absolutely unacceptable way to treat the men and women who have risked life and limb in the service of our country.”
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