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VoteVets Slams Donald Trump's Executive Order Punishing Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC - Donald Trump signed an order yesterday that freezes pay for hundreds of thousands of veterans, potentially shuts tens of thousands more out of a job, and seems to starve the Department of Veterans Affairs of workers it desperately needs.

 

"That didn't take long.  In just his third day in office, Donald Trump screwed hundreds of thousands of veterans out of better pay, and thousands more out of potential jobs," said Peter Kauffmann, Senior Adviser to VoteVets.  "Veterans who have families to feed, who may be saving up for a home, all of them have been let down by Donald Trump.  This shouldn't be shocking.  Donald Trump lobbied New York to kick disabled veterans, working as vendors, out from in front of Trump Tower. He has always been hostile to working veterans."

 

"What we still do not know is whether the Department of Veterans Affairs is also subject to his hiring and pay freeze.  It would be the ultimate insult to our men and women who serve to deny them the additional doctors, nurses, therapists, and administrators that are sorely needed at the VA," Kauffmann added.  "If his Executive Order leads to preventable deaths, that will be on Donald Trump's hands, and we will hold him personally accountable."

 

The Executive Order, signed by Trump, freezes pay and hiring for all Federal agencies with few exemptions.  The Federal workforce is 31% veteran, meaning roughly 623,000 veterans depend on Federal jobs and pay.

 

Further, for those unemployed veterans seeking work, Federal jobs are a prime destination, thanks to a 2009 executive order signed by President Barack Obama, establishing the Veterans Employment Initiative. That order instructed agencies to identify and hire qualified veterans for job openings.  Trump's hiring freeze means no jobs are now open for veterans, at affected agencies.

 

It is unclear as to whether the Department of Veterans Affairs will be granted an exemption to the hiring and pay freeze.  According to VA officials in California, they have not yet received any instructions as to whether they can, or cannot hire the psychologists, nurses, and social workers for which they currently have job postings.

 

Founded in 2006, and backed by over 450,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home.  VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives.   VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.