On Thursday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders announced that President Donald Trump had donated a significant portion of his salary to the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has made similar donations in the past to other worthy causes, including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Park Service.
Trump’s donation to help the VA is worth one-quarter of his annual salary or $100,000.
Robert Wilkie, the acting VA secretary, stated during a press conference that the funds would go to a variety of objectives associated with caregiver support programs, including education, financial aid, training, mental health, research, and peer support.
“The president’s gift underscores his promise to do all that he can for veterans, which includes supporting those who care for our veterans – not just those of us at VA, but the husbands, the wives, the families, and the community caregivers who are out there, day in and day out, making life easier for those who have borne the battle,” said Wilkie.
Trump’s donation comes at a time where the VA has faced a significant amount of uncertainty, according to a report by Politico. David Shulkin was fired from the VA secretary position in late March and Trump’s initial nominee for the role, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, withdrew from consideration after allegations surfaced of him creating a toxic work environment and over-prescribing medication.
A new nominee for the role has yet to be announced.
Additionally, Trump has moved to make major changes in the VA, including asserting his support for the VA MISSION Act.
Discussing the bill, which passed in the House on Wednesday, Wilkie stated, “This is long-awaited legislation that our veterans have been waiting in anticipation of,” adding, “We urge the Senate to take up the House bill and give it to President Trump, hopefully before Memorial Day.”
Trump has also expressed his support for the bill. “Congrats to the House for passing the VA MISSION Act yesterday,” he said in a tweet on Thursday. “Without this funding our veterans will be forced to stand in never ending lines in order to receive care. Putting politics over our veterans care is UNACCEPTABLE – Senate must vote yes on this bill by Memorial Day!”