Take Action on the VA Secretary nomination, with a call script and email/letter template

ACTION:

Ask your representatives to: 1. Support retaining Robert McDonald as Veterans Affairs Secretary, & 2. Ask that veteran organizations be included in the process of nominating a Veterans Affairs Secretary.

Use the Letter/Email Template and Telephone Script below to shape your own communication. We suggest communicating through email, telephone, facebook, twitter, mail, and through their websites.

WHY?

Veterans should be a part of the decision making process when it comes to choosing who runs Veteran Affairs. (http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-veterans-20161222-story.html)

WHO NEEDS TO HEAR FROM US?

EMAIL/LETTER TEMPLATE

Customize the letter for your representative or remove bracketed/red sections.

Dear [Your Representative],

Today’s Los Angeles Times (12/24/16), says that “Under pressure from conservative activists, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and organizations funded by the Koch brothers, Trump is contemplating choosing an agency chief who would upend the entire veterans healthcare system. That would come over the protests of the country’s major veterans groups.” These groups include the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (representing a combined 5.5 million veterans), who have recently praised the improvements in the VA brought about by Republican Robert McDonald (veteran, and the retired Chairman, President, and CEO of Procter & Gamble). These veterans’ organizations suggested to Trump that he retain McDonald to continue the current policies and their improvements. Our veterans deserve the continued attention to the VA’s deficiencies and inefficiencies begun under an experienced and capable administrator, Robert McDonald.

Trump has said that he supports the blueprint developed by a group called Concerned Veterans for America, bankrolled by Charles and David Koch, and whose former executive director, Peter Hegseth (a veteran, yes, but young, and with no business, administrative, or healthcare experience) is in the running for VA secretary. This blueprint, if put into effect, “would result in a significant shifting of services to the private sector. Other veterans organizations warn that this could leave VA facilities underfunded and at risk for closure.” (LA Times 12/24/16)

Trump has not yet met with representatives of any major veterans’ group to get input from them on this major appointment. When asked for an appointment by the founder of Iraq and Iran Veterans of America, Trump insultingly sent a delegation including a former reality TV star to meet with them. He has never met with representatives of the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has not accorded our veterans the respect they deserve; they should have input on this very important decision.

[To my House Rep Steve Knight: I know that veterans and their care and issues are very important to you, so important that you have a Veterans Portal on your website. You also serve on the House Armed Services Committee.]

[To my Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein: I know from the Issues page on your website that veterans are important to you, that you have been working for them and and you oppose privatizing Veterans Affairs.]

I’m asking you to be a voice for our veterans, to request that they at least be consulted about this very important decision: the selection of the new Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs. Please look at Hegseth’s and Concerned Veterans’ plans for the VA closely and seriously, and decide if these plans best meet the needs of our veterans. Decide if Robert McDonald has put the VA on the right path, as millions of veterans think he has.

[To SK: While I understand that you, as a representative in Congress, do not get to vote to confirm Hegseth’s appointment if he is nominated, you do have influence with other members of Congress, and you can make a public statement of support for Secretary McDonald and for veterans’ inclusion in the nominating process.]

[To KH & DF: Stand with veterans and show public support for Secretary McDonald and for veterans to have a voice in the nomination process. If anyone other than Robert McDonald is nominated, vote against their confirmation.]

If you think that veterans themselves should have a voice in this decision, that there should be serious consideration given to retaining McDonald, or nominating a candidate who wants to fix the VA instead of privatizing it, take a stand for our veterans and use your influence to tell Trump to make the best choice for veterans, not for his billionaire investor and building friends to make money off veterans’ housing and care.

You owe our veterans at least this.

[Your Name]

[Your Town and Zip]

TELEPHONE SCRIPT

Hello, I am a constituent calling about Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

I ask [Your Representative] to support Robert McDonald for VA Secretary, and to stand with veterans to demand that large veterans’ organization like Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion have input into the VA secretary nomination process.

Thank you for giving this message to [Your Representative].