The Trump administration is under pressure from congressional Democrats to reverse the hiring freeze in the Department of Veterans Affairs, which began in 2019, as well as other initiatives aimed at protecting veterans from further cuts.
In an interview with Axios on Friday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the Trump administration will work with Democrats to “make sure that we’re going to do the right thing.”
“We’re going there because of the issues that they’re dealing with and we’re working with them on that,” Priebus said.
“We want to do it the right way and we think we can be the catalyst for the reforms and get this done.
It’s a big deal.
We can’t do this alone.”
The freeze in VA employment and pay was instituted in late 2019 after Congress failed to pass legislation to rein in the department.
The administration has pledged to boost the department’s workforce and the number of veterans it employs to 10,000 by 2024.
But many veterans’ advocates and veterans groups have questioned whether the VA is keeping up with the demands of the aging population, especially in the face of rising rates of PTSD and other illnesses among veterans.
While veterans’ groups say they have heard from many of them, many are still waiting for the White House to make a commitment to reduce the VA workforce.
The Department of Health and Human Services has been reviewing VA staffing for several years.
A number of VA veterans’ organizations have pressed for the freeze to be lifted, including Veterans for Peace, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
The VA, which also employs many of the veterans under the freeze, has said it will provide a briefing to the Trump White House on its progress in implementing the recommendations of a report from the Government Accountability Office.
The VA said it expects to see progress in the budget and other steps to help veterans, and that it will continue to make efforts to make VA health care more accessible and accessible to all veterans.
But the VA’s progress has been hindered by the Trump Administration’s plan to reduce funding for the VA and its veterans programs, which some veterans have argued is the biggest obstacle to hiring veterans for other jobs.
The government watchdog Office of Inspector General (OIG) last month said it has found that the VA has not followed its plan to hire the veterans who need the most help.
The OIG also said the VA was not following an effort by the agency to increase the number or diversity of VA employees who can access health care.
In a report released last month, the OIG said it found that while the VA may be hiring the people it needs, it is not keeping up its promises to help these people get the care they need.
The office also found that VA leadership failed to ensure that its VA employees are trained to handle the high demand for veterans services in the midst of a crisis.
The OIG report said it was not clear if the VA had a plan to keep up its commitment to hiring new veterans or if it had sufficient resources to do so.OIG also noted that veterans have complained that the administration has not provided them with information about VA health benefits and health care plans.
The Trump administration has also been criticized for failing to properly train its VA workforce to help them cope with the growing VA population.
OIG found that veterans in the VA have complained of inadequate training and support and have not received the information needed to prepare for the high rate of traumatic brain injuries that veterans are experiencing.