Donald Trump achievements: Veterans

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Official presidential photo of President Donald Trump
Main article: Donald Trump achievements

This article is a non-exhaustive list of achievements by U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration, and Congress related to veterans issues.


Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin stated on June 7, 2017, that improving the Department of Veterans Affairs was a "top priority" for the Trump Administration.[1][2] Shulkin, a holdover from the Obama Administration, admitted that the Trump Administration was "quicker" and "more decisive" than the previous one,[3] and he moved to modernize the department during his tenure.[4] The Trump Administration worked aggressively and effectively to improve the VA, and Shulkin received bipartian support.[5]

Legislation signed, 2017

  • April 19, 2017—President Trump signed an extension of the Veterans Choice Act of 2014, which allowed veterans to seek medical care outside the VA system due to serious VA problems.[6][7]
  • June 2, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law giving preference in federal grants to "federal and state law enforcement agencies that hire and train veterans".[8]
  • June 23, 2017—President Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act into law (Trump described the law as "one of the largest reforms to the VA in its history"[9]), which expanded protections for VA whistleblowers, gave the VA the authority to end bonuses to convicted employees, made quicker and easier the process for firing, suspending, and demoting employees.[10]
  • August 12, 2017—President Trump signed a bill which, in addition to extending the department's Choice Program for an additional six months, authorized $1.8 billion so the VA could lease and open 28 medical facilities and so it could implement a new hiring program.[11]
  • August 16, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law expanding GI benefits for veterans, including removing a 15-year time limit on using GI benefits and giving veterans additional payments for science, engineering, and technology courses at universities, among other provisions.[12]
  • August 23, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law streamlining and making more convenient the process for veterans to appeal disability benefit claims.[13]

Executive actions, 2017

  • April 27, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order creating an office in the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate obstacles preventing the VA from firing incompetent employees, and to protect those who reveal cases of incompetence in the department.[14]
  • June 5, 2017—The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would adopt the same medical records system as the Defense Department in order to bring better care for veterans.[15][16]
  • July 7, 2017—The Department of Veterans Affairs made public its disciplinary actions against its employees,[17] and it reported that day having fired over 500 employees since January 2017 and suspending nearly 200.[18]
  • August 3, 2017—The Trump Administration added several new services to the VA's telehealth program, making it easier for veterans to obtain health care services such as through letting them conduct medical examinations remotely and giving them the ability to schedule appointments electronically.[19]

Other achievements, 2017

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate of U.S. military veterans in October 2017 had fallen to a record low of 2.7%, mirroring the decreasing unemployment rate under President Trump.[20]


Legislation signed, 2018

  • June 6, 2018—President Trump signed the VA Mission Act into law, a major reform of the department which expanded veterans' access to private healthcare, created new healthcare programs, and reorganized existing programs for efficiency.[21]

Executive actions, 2018

  • January 9, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order directing the federal government to expand mental health services for veterans in order to reduce the number of veteran suicides.[22]
  • September 2018—The VA announced it had exceeded its goal of delivering 81,000 appeals decisions in Fiscal Year 2018 – a 52% increase from Fiscal Year 2017 – on claims for disability benefits two weeks earlier than expected.[23]
  • September 18, 2018—The VA announced that five of its hospitals were removed from its list of high-risk facilities because of improving conditions.[24]


  1. Persons, Sally (June 7, 2017). Shulkin says veterans health care reform a ‘top priority’. The Washington Times. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  2. Hayward, John (June 22, 2017). VA Secretary David Shulkin: ‘We Have 20 Veterans a Day Taking Their Lives; That’s Totally Unacceptable’. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  3. Bedard, Paul (June 26, 2017). Obama holdover: Trump style 'quicker, more decisive'. Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  4. Hayward, John (August 1, 2017). Secretary Shulkin on V.A. Modernization: Wait Times Posted Online, Same-Day Service for Emergencies. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  5. Multiple references:
  6. Boyer, Dave (April 19, 2017). Trump turns focus to veterans, signs extension for choice in health care. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  7. Westwood, Sarah (April 19, 2017). Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA system. Washington Examiner. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  8. Multiple references:
  9. Westwood, Sarah (June 23, 2017). Trump signs 'one of the largest reforms to the VA in its history'. Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  10. Multiple references:
  11. Multiple references:
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  13. Multiple references: See also:
  14. Wong, Kristina (April 27, 2017). Trump Signs Executive Order to Hold VA Employees Accountable. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  15. Boyer, Dave (June 5, 2017). Trump to overhaul VA medical records system to link with Pentagon. The Washington Times. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  16. Singman, Brooke (June 5, 2017). Veterans Affairs to adopt same medical records system as Pentagon. Fox News. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  17. Multiple references:
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  19. Multiple references:
  20. Multiple references:
  21. Multiple references: See also:
  22. Multiple references: See also:
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  24. Multiple references: