March 29, 2017

Duckworth: Trump Again Puts Veterans on Chopping Block, Threatens to Increase Veteran Homelessness


WASHINGTON, DC - Combat Veteran U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today highlighted a new Associated Press report that found President Trump's new budget proposal threatens to increase Veteran homelessness despite his repeated campaign promises to care for those who've worn our nation's uniform. As the former Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Duckworth helped coordinatea joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to end Veteran homelessness.

"This President's sad record of broken promises to our Veterans just keeps growing longer," said Senator Duckworth. "We should no longer be surprised by his willingness to put those who've worn our nation's uniform on the chopping block to pay for tax breaks for his ultrawealthy friends. These proposed cuts are shameful and will leave thousands of our nation's heroes without the care and support they have earned, rolling back decades of progress toward ending Veteran homelessness. We are all dishonored when our Veterans have to lay their heads down to sleep on the same streets they defended, and I won't stop fighting until we end Veteran homelessness for good."

President Trump's budget proposal would eliminate funding for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and slash funding for the Housing and Urban Development Department, both of which play integral roles in the fight to end Veteran homelessness. These proposed cuts threaten to harm thousands of brave Americans who have served in uniform by not only preventing homeless Veterans from getting the help they need, but also counterproductively ending existing efforts that have helped reduce Veteran homelessness 47 percent nationwide since 2010.

Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and later served as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington. As a Congresswoman, she coauthored the bipartisan Clay Hunt SAV (Suicide Prevention for American Veterans) Act, which passed both the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law to improve mental health care services for Veterans and reduce Veteran suicide. She also introduced the bipartisan Troop Talent Act-large portions of which are now law-to help Servicemembers transition to civilian life by making it easier for them to turn the skills they learned in the military into the credentials and licenses needed for similar civilian fields. As Senator, she is continuing her work to ensure America's military members receive the support they deserve during and after their service.