Jun 7, 2018

Trump signs VA bill, opposes funding it

President Trump speaking at Arlington National Cemetary. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump yesterday signed a bill that aims to expand veterans' access to private health care, but the Washington Post reports that the administration is quietly trying to kill the Senate effort to fund it. 

The big picture: Increasing veterans' access to private care emerged as key to addressing the 2014 VA crisis, but it's also sparked a huge debate over how far this access should go.

  • Some lawmakers, along with veterans groups, worry that using federal VA funding for private care could stretch the program's resources even further, as private care often costs more than VA services, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes.

Between the lines: The GOP base was furious with the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed earlier this year, so the White House is hesitant to spend more money. It's encouraging lawmakers to cut spending in other areas instead of appropriating an additional $50 billion to pay for the veterans bill signed yesterday. 

Yes, but: This could play into fears that private care expansion will reduce the VA's ability to serve veterans, as cuts to pay for the private care could come from within the VA itself.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,543,439 — Total deaths: 347,836 — Total recoveries — 2,266,394Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,669,040 — Total deaths: 98,426 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work after beating coronavirus.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.