President Signs VA Mission Act CSPAN June 6, 2018 12:28pm-12:46pm EDT
was permanent. that would be the bulk of it. we would get rid of tax provisions that benefit compani jobs as.ovse but weld also do it in right way. there were no hearings, no witsses. it was jammed through at the speed of light in the dark of night. i think because the republicans new it was so bad, and the more people learned about it, the more they didn't like it. so we'd go through a regular order. we'd have hearings and testimony and witnesses. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. this is a very big day. choic we've been looking for choice for a long time. today's the day. so it's very important. ery happy. thank you, al her
this is truly a historic momenty i'll be signing landmark legislation to provide health care choice -- what a beautiful word that is, choice -- and freedom to our amazing veterans. i want to welcome every veteran. we have many veterans here today. every caregiver and service member who has joined us on this very momentous occasion. all during the campaign, i go out and say, why can't they jus standing in line w fks and weeks and weeks? now they can go see a doctor. going to be great. you fiulfilled your duty to our nation with tremendous ancourage a, and with the signing of this veterans choice legislation, we take one more rucial step in fulfilling our
duty to you. we're pleased to be joinedy by our great vice president, mike pence, along withy nomto lead va, robert steynd u robert. you do a great job. and working along with robert is acting va secretary peter o'rourke. so peter, thank you. peter, where's pe that's a great team. i also want to thank some of our many leaders -- i call them leaders because on this legislation they are indeed leaders. you know, they said that it would be very slow. it's political season. we have an election coming on november 6th. they said it would be very, very slow, this period of time. i was just telling mike, you know, mike, this hasn't been very slow. we passed dodd-frank, right to try.
we just got $700 billion for our military. [ applause ] that's a big one. we needed to get that. military's going to be stronger, bigger, better than it ever was before. hopefully we won't have to use it very much, but the fcthaweha probably won't have to use it as much. i want to thank all of the great people in the audience who helped us so much. on december 22n which doesn't quite fit into the january 1st date, but
on december 22nd, we signed the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country. that's a big one. and we got $1.6 billion. we've already started the wall on the southern border. $1.6 billion, so important. i also have to recognize some of the people that have worked so hard to make all of this happen.
johnny isaacson. where is johnny? have you worked with jerry moran and the whole group -- you and jerry. where's jerry? hi, jerry. good job. bill cassidy, dean heller, tom cotton, all here. tom tillis, lindsey graham. i see lindsey sitting right up there. hi, lindse good job. todd young. todd, thank you. joni ernst. where's joni? i did you a good favor for the farmers yesterday. we love the farmers. i'm glad it worked out. john hoven, steve danes, all here. we have on the house of representatives mike hoffman,
r-- did introce you, man, buddy senator? what's going on, huh? i hope so. if i didn't introduce you, i'm you kn the probl with this, there will be four people we didn't introduce, and they'll never speak to me for the rest of my life. they'll make sure i suffer, right? so please, i apologize. jennifer gonzalez colon, peter king. where's peter? stand up, peter. you have been so nice to me. he should. he comes from new york. right, peter? thank you, peter. jack bergman. phl, what a great job. [ applause ] that was a lot tougher than we thought, right? you would think it would have been easy. it makes sense. but you would have thought. kevin cramer, jim banks, andy
barr, claudia tenney, martha mcsally. i hear you're doing very well, mar wr youay be. i hear martha's doing very well in the great state of arizona. that's what the word is. don bacon, jason lewis, kathy mcmorris rogers, who's terrific. kathy. hi, kathy. representative neil dunn, ann custer, and julia brown. i want to thank -- and i assume we have a couple others out there. anybody i didn't announce? you want to stand and we'll announce you. you deserve it. thank you, all, very much. really, it's incredible. [ applause ]
and finally, i want to thank the fantastic veteran service organizations that helped us push today's choice legislation across the finish line. enever ispoke, this was one of the most important things. it was something i got the biggest hand for. pe people want to take care of our th're great people. four years ago our entire nation was shocked and outraged by stories of the va system plagued by neglect, abuse, fraud, and mistreatment of our veterans. and there was nothg they could do about it. they couldn't do anything about it. good people that worked there, they couldn't take care of the bad people, meaning, you're fired, get the hell out of here. with us today are many brave veterans who endured that grave injustice, including steve cooper and laura vella. they served their country with honor only to be denied the medical treatment they desperately needed. to steve and laura, no one should suffer what you suffered.
they suffered gravely. no one who defepds our country in uniform should have to fight for their lives when they come back, when they come to their home. we commend your strength and courage in the face of hardship, and we pledge to act in your name and in the name of veteran who has been so badly wronged, any fleneglected mistreated. for those who serve our country, who risk life and limb, th must never be denied care, access, or treatment that they need. that is why we are here today, d that is why we are signing this most important bill. makes so much sense. it's been so long. theve been working on it for years and years and years. and it wouldn't happen. accountability is the other one. as a candidate for president, i promised make reforming the va one of my absolute highest
priorities. from the first day of my administration, that is exactly what we've done. last year i signed the historic va accountability legislation, mening you now can immediately get ri of people that don't treat our veterans right, that rob us or cheat us or aren't good to our great vets. you can get them out. you couldn't do it. for 40 years they've ting to pass this. phil, you know that. 40 years. and they couldn't. made so much sense. but it was hard. you have civil service. you have unions. of course, they'd never do anything to stop anytn but they had a very great deal of power. in the end, they came along. everybody came along because they knew it was right. so we passed something that hasn't been that recognized, and yet i would put it almost in the
class with choice. almost in the class with choice. va accountability passed, and now if people don't do a great job, they can't work with our vets anymore. they're gone. [ applause ] so we're very proud of accountability. in the campaign, i also promised that we would find for veterans' choice. before i knew that much about it, it just seemed to be common sense. it seemed like if thre waiting on line for nine days and they can't see a doctor, why aren't they going outside to see a doctor and take care of themselves and we pay the bill? it's less expensive for us. it works out much better. and it's immediate care. and that's what we're doing. so we're allowingur veterans to get access to the best medical care available, whether it's at the va or at a private provider. in a few moments, i will keep
that promise that i've been making ever since the first day of my campaign. seems like a long time ago. and i'm going to sign legislation that will make veterans choice permanent. i just can't stress the people here, the people in the audience, senators, congressmen, the great people working at the va and soon to be secretary wilkey anev the work that they've done to get this through is really inspirational to me. i've learned so muchrom the standpoint that i actually see how hard these people work. this was very important. phil and mike and everydy, i really appreciate what you've done. it's been incredibl. this has been for years, for 30, 40 years they've been trying to get this done. and we got it done. if the va can't meet the needs
of a veteran in a timely manner, that veteran will have the right to go right outside to a private doctor. so simple. and yet so complex. this legislation also expanz accesstohe caregiver program for seriously injured veterans because no matter where you served or when you fought, if you were in uniform, at some point if you wore that uniform, then you deserve our absolute best, and that's what we're doing. [ applause ] this bill speeds up the claims process, increases the health services, expanz access to walk-in clinics, and fights opioid addiction. these are sweeping historic changes. there's never been anything like this in the history of the va.
never been anything close. and we will not rest until the job is fully done. my administration has also taken action to ensure veterans can seamlessly transition their medical records from the department of defense into the va. i've heard so many stories, how difficult it is, almost impossible to do. it took years to do. we'll do it immediately now. we're set up. we have the right systems. after years and years of waiting, the two departments will now finally use the same system. they're matching. today we also mark another milestone, the 74th anniversary of d-day, the allied invasion of normandy. on june 6th, 1944, more than 7000 brave young americans charged out of landing craft, jumped out of airplanes, and
stormed into hell. they gahr heart, their blood, and their lives on those beaches to drive out the enemy and strike a lasting victory for ouruny and for freedom. in every generation, there have been heroes like them, patriots who answer the call to serve, who do whatever it takes, wherever and whenever we need them to defend america. they put everything on the line for us, and when they come home, we must do everything that we can possibly do for them and that's what we're doing. [ applause ] and they can be very proud of their country because literally this week we have gotten the best financial numbers, the best economic numbers, the best
numbers on unemployment and employment that we've ever had as a country. strongest economy we've ever had. it's so good because we can do so many more things when that happens, including, of course, jobs. among the best job numbers ever in the history of our country. african-american unemployment, the lowest it's ever been in history. hispanic unemployment, the lowest it's ever been in history. women unemployment, lowest it's been in 21 years and soon to be history. little bit more, it's going to be history. numbers that nobody's ever seen. we've added $7 trillion since the election, $7 trillion to r country's worth, the value, the value. we've added $7 trillion to our country's worth.
we've never had anything like this. and i'll tell you what, it's going to get better. cutting regulations, cutting taxes. it's just starting. so it's now my great honor to sign the va mission act, or as we all know it, the choice act, and to make veterans choice the permanent law of our great country, and nobody deserves it more than our veterans. thank you, all, very much. thank you. thank you very much. [ applause ]