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Sean Kendall

VA Secretary’s Taxpayer-Funded Vacations are Disappointing


Posted on Oct 20, 2017

Amidst celebrations of VA Secretary David Shulkin’s many successes since he took over for former VA chief Robert McDonald earlier this year, one piece of recent news came as a shock: Shulkin is among the five known Trump Administration cabinet members who’ve taken lavish vacations funded by tax payers.

Shulkin and Wife Travel to Europe on Taxpayers’ Dime

With the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (“VA”) reputation as an agency with questionable quality and atrocious delays, and the fact that the population it serves is one that often struggles to make ends meet, one would think that Secretary Shulkin would be funneling every available dime into improving the services available to veterans.

Ironically, there is evidence that Shulkin understands the gravity of the budget situation. Early this past summer, Shulkin signed a memo instructing VA to assess the necessity of employee travel in the department, stating that he hoped to find a way to bolster VA’s savings.

Yet, the Washington Post reports that, just two weeks after signing the memo, Shulkin and his wife took a luxurious trip on the taxpayers’ dime. While Shulkin was supposedly in Europe for 10 days to discuss veterans’ health issues with Danish and British Officials, he and his wife spent much of the time between meetings attending Wimbledon, taking riverboat cruises, visiting palaces, and touring Westminster Abbey. They were accompanied by Shulkin’s undersecretary, her husband, Shulkin’s chief of staff, another aide, and several people working as security.

This entitled, egregious behavior comes as a sharp contrast to that of Shulkin’s predecessor, Robert McDonald, who never took a work trip outside of the United States.

Veterans Left to Fend for Themselves

The news of Shulkin’s lavish travels on the taxpayers’ dime is particularly disappointing in light of the fact that many veterans are still being denied the benefits they need just to survive.

With decades of experience obtaining MST, TDUI, and other disability benefits for deserving veterans, my office can cut through the VA’s bureaucracy and get you the benefits you are entitled to. Regardless of where you live and where you are in the benefits application or appeals process, contact us today at (877) 629-1712.

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