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Congressman Dave Trott

Representing the 11th District of Michigan

Trott Blasts VA Secretary for Tone-Deaf Approach to Helping Our Veterans

May 25, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC: U.S. Representative Dave Trott (MI-11) today called on Veterans Affairs’ Secretary Robert McDonald and the Obama Administration to renew their efforts in serving our veterans following insensitive comments made by McDonald suggesting that wait times for VA services is comparable to lines to enter Disneyland attractions.

“Secretary McDonald’s comments were disgraceful. After fighting for our nation, our veterans should not have to wait in line so long they die awaiting service at a VA hospital. Funding for the VA continues to rise, yet the service and care for our veterans is not improving. Many of the problems at the VA are due to gross mismanagement, not a lack of money.  I hoped that with his business background, Secretary McDonald would have worked to turn things around, but instead our vets are still not getting the care they deserve. Perhaps Secretary McDonald should go take a job at Disneyland instead of continuing to fail our veterans,” said Rep. Trott.

During a conversation with reporters, VA Secretary Robert McDonald directly compared wait lines for VA health care to Disneyland.  When asked today during an interview with NBC to apologize for his comments, McDonald refused three times and instead tried to claim that he was making improvements at VA facilities. According to reports, as many as 307,000 veterans have died waiting for service from the Veterans Affairs’ Administration.

While the VA and the Obama Administration have claimed the bureaucracy is unable to improve due to a lack of funding, appropriations for the VA have increased from $47.8 billion in 2009 to $63.4 in 2014—a nearly 30% increase. Just last week, Rep. Trott supported appropriations legislation that increases discretionary spending for the VA to $73.5 billion, a 3% increase from FY 2016.

Michigan’s Eleventh Congressional District is home to over 43,000 military veterans.