Legislation President Donald Trump signed to reform the Veterans' Administration will "finally bring integrity and accountability to this scandal-plagued agency and give veterans the medical care they need and deserve," Rep. Peter King said Saturday.
"America can never fully repay the debt which we owe to our veterans," the New York Republican said in a statement. "These are the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend all the rest of us.
"That is why it has been such a national scandal that the Veterans' Administration has had so much corruption and provided inadequate medical care to so many veterans."
Trump signed a bill Friday that would make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees, stemming from a 2014 scandal at the Phoenix VA, where some veterans died as they waited months for care.
The agency is the largest in the federal government, with more than 350,000 employees, and it is charged with providing healthcare and other services to military veterans.
"Our veterans have fulfilled their duty to our nation and now we must fulfill our duty to them," Trump said at the White House. "To every veteran who is here with us today, I just want to say two very simple words: Thank you."
Trump repeatedly promised during the election campaign to dismiss VA workers "who let our veterans down," saying Friday that the legislation was fulfilling that promise.
King was among the 368 House members supporting the legislation this week — 55 opposed it — and the Senate approved it the previous week.
The representative noted that the Northport VA Medical Center in his district "has provided a good level of care and has been responsive when things go wrong" — and he praised the widespread support for the bill among veterans' groups.
"This is a great day for America's veterans."
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