"We will have veterans dying" AMVETS calls on President to exempt VA from budget cuts

Eric Dehm
October 26, 2018 - 9:44 am

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

In his most recent cabinet meeting, President Trump called on every department head to come to the next meeting with a plan to cut 5% of their budgets. 

“I’m going to ask everybody to come back with a 5 percent cut for our next meeting,” Trump said at the meeting. “There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don’t know who that exemption would be.”

On the heels of the announcement comes a warning from AMVETS Exec. Director Joe Chenelly. The Marine Corps vet believes that if the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget isn't exempted, it will be disastrous and has no doubt it will lead to a preventable loss of life.

"I'm not exaggerating here," Chenelly said during an appearance on the Morning Briefing radio show. "We will have veterans dying because of a lack of health care if there had to be a cut,"

Chenelly says there's a precedent for the VA being exempted, pointing to two Obama era cabinet-wide budget cuts where the VA was allowed to continue on as normal. AMVETS hopes that's the case this time around, and they're calling on the President to announce the exemption as soon as possible. 

"We think it's not only the right thing to do, we think it's the only option," Chenelly said. "The President talks a lot about his support for veterans and we take him at face value on that, we have throughout his time in office and as a candidate. And so we really need the President to make it clear, so veterans don't have to worry about this, that veterans will be exempt from this cut."

You can listen to the full interview with Chenelly below.

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