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Trump Takes Credit for Reauthorizing Bernie Sanders’ Veterans CHOICE Act

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Veterans CHOICE Program Tyson Manker
Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Veterans CHOICE Program Tyson Manker

Trump displays the signed Veterans CHOICE Act of 2016, which reauthorizes a 2014 version of the law, authored by Sen. Bernie Sanders.


WASHINGTON (April 19, 2017) — Donald Trump staged a very public signing ceremony at the White House on Wednesday morning to take credit for signing into law an extension of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, aka the Veterans CHOICE Program, which is set to expire later this year.

The bills’ original author? Senator Bernie Sanders.

Trump of course made no mention of Sanders, or even the current bill’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Jon Tester (MT).

Instead, clearly reading from remarks (video below), the President said, “It’s time that we now take care of [Veterans]. That’s why I’m pleased today to sign into law the Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act,” reiterating, “so this is called, the Choice Program Improvement Act —speaks for itself.”

In reality, and importantly, the law Trump signed isn’t called the “Veterans Choice Improvement Program Act.”

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Veterans CHOICE Program Tyson Manker

WhiteHouse.gov correctly identifies the law


Rather, the White House’s own signed legislation page, dated April 19, 2017, correctly identifies the measure by its true name, “An Act to amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes,” which alone makes clear the measure does little more than extend Sanders’ 2014 bill.

Yet at the daily press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer touted Trump’s signing of the extension as one of the administration’s “most important moves,” according to Military Times reporter, Leo Shane III.

Hyper patriots also rushed to trumpet his majesty’s great accomplishment.

“That is the President of the United States,” proclaimed FOX Business host, Stuart Varney.

The President there is giving veterans access to private sector care. More choice for veterans,” as if it were a novel approach. “He’s done something.”

If reaffirming a not-new idea that in 2014 Bernie Sanders accomplished to push into law despite serious GOP obstructionism counts, then yes, he’s done something.

**Because the 2014 bill was watered down by Republicans, Sen. Sanders said of the original CHOICE Act, “Moving forward, we must expand veterans’ benefits by making comprehensive dental care available to all veterans at VA medical centers, and by expanding caregiver provisions. We must do more to meet the mental health needs of our veterans, especially those who have served in harm’s way. And we must fully restore cuts to military pensions that were insisted upon by Republicans in the last budget deal.”

Tyson Manker is a former combat marine, attorney, college professor. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

6 Comments

  1. Hey Trump can go ahead and enact all Bernie ideas and take all the credit and I won’t be mad.. And I bet Bernie wouldn’t e either

  2. jparis says:

    hi tyson. i read your article and i have a few questions for you. 1. you said bernie sanders is the original author of the bill S2450. i read the bill which seem to have died in sleep (1 reading) and was replaced by HR3230. i checked but found no mention of bernie’s ORIGINAL BILL in that replacement, further his name was not mentioned as a co-sponsor either. the bill was signed into law by obama 8/7/14. do you know why he was not acknowledged as the originator of the bill? i am curious to know as i am sure your readership would. and that goes for the S544. let me know if i am in error. another point i notice is that you have quite a bit of following, but no comments so i am assuming everyone takes your word as true. i look forward to some clarifications. i am a researcher and am following this issue now. thanks. i have many friends on social media.

  3. Jeff says:

    My friend said it wasn’t Bernie’s bill. He sent me a link to the bill. Please explain:
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/3230

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