It’s Inauguration Day and the IAVA DC office is busily gearing up for changes with VA and DoD leadership, as well as veteran policy initiatives that the Trump Administration will push forward. Following the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President, we expect his administration to put out a series of executive orders and we will be reviewing them to see how they affect IAVA members.
On the campaign trail, candidate Trump pledged to make veterans a priority in his administration and put forward a 10-point plan for veterans. We have reviewed and rated his plans based on our own Policy Agenda and Member Survey, and we look forward to working with his administration on the aspects of that plan that would improve the lives of post-9/11 veterans. You can see that 10-point plan and other IAVA assessments on our New Administration and 115th Congress Dashboard.
On Capitol Hill, IAVA Chief of Staff Allison Jaslow and Legislative Director Tom Porter attended a meeting with Senate Veterans Affairs Committee members, at which Allison Jaslow explicitly stated that “we’ll be like a hawk” defending the GI Bill from cuts in the 115th Congress. Allison also outlined the major points of our policy agenda and asked for the Senators’ support in pushing to advance issues important to IAVA members.
Yesterday we also hosted a lunch in our DC office to speak with supporters about IAVA and our plans to get things done with the Trump Administration and new Congress. Among our attendees was a prominent actor that asked us the question, “With all the political changes about to occur in Washington how do you plan to press post-9/11 veteran issues forward?” We said that we will continue to work within the principle that post-9/11 veterans deserve to have their voices heard in Washington and that they deserve their benefits that they have earned through service to their country. That will never change for IAVA and we will fight for those principles no matter who is in the Congress or in The White House.
Fundamentally, the issues that we fight for: VA reform, improving healthcare for women veterans, protecting veterans education benefits, and combating military and veteran suicide are not partisan, nor should they be. At the end of day, though, we are only as strong as our membership, and we need members like you to be involved. Our #DefendTheGIBill fight last year showed what post-9/11 veterans can do when we are united.
As we continue to advocate for post-9/11 veterans, we will keep you informed and ask that you advocate alongside with us. We’ve got your back. Today. Tomorrow. Always!