Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) issued a statement after reports that President Trump’s political appointees with Koch brother connections are actively working to undermine U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and profit off of the privatization of the VA:
“Attempts by President Trump’s henchmen to privatize the health care of millions of veterans in order to line their own pockets is an egregious slap in the face to the millions of servicemen and women who have defended our country,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The infiltration of the VA by outside actors affiliated with the Koch brothers network shows that even our veterans’ health care is not sacred from their immoral quest to buy our democracy. Caught in the middle of this drama is the health and well-being of our veterans.”
“President Trump is playing politics with the lives of veterans by appointing individuals whose very goal is to undermine the mission of the VA,” Rep. Grijalva continued. “Instead of looking at ways to make a quick buck through privatization and please wealthy donors, which is opposed by the overwhelming majority of veterans, Trump and his appointees at the VA should focus on making quality care more accessible to the millions who rely upon the VA health system.”
“Millions of Americans have served in our armed forces and after making countless sacrifices for our nation, these veterans and their families deserve respect and the highest level of care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Despite his claims that he would support our servicemen and women, President Trump and his Administration are now working with the Koch brothers to privatize the health care of veterans for corporate gain,” said Rep. Pocan. “Republicans in Congress must join Democrats in fighting against this scam and ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs works to better the lives of our servicemen and women, not exploit them for the financial benefit of others. President Trump should end this plan and instead prioritize the accessibility of health care and improve the existing services within the VA.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.