1600 Daily: Everything White House 05/29/2018
Driving The Day
President Donald J. Trump is meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis Collins in the Oval Office to discuss NIH research initiatives, including work on opioids.
The heroes who rest in these hallowed fields
President Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia yesterday to commemorate Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who lost their lives defending America. “The heroes who rest in these hallowed fields—in the cemeteries, battlefields, and burial grounds near and far—are drawn from the full tapestry of American life,” he said.
Memorial Day is an occasion to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. As we remember those warriors, it is also a moment to consider how we can make life better for all of America’s heroes in uniform, including our veterans.
In the near future, President Trump will take an important step toward correcting how the United States treats its veteran population. He will sign the VA MISSION Act, which will transform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a high-performing and integrated healthcare system for the 21st century by putting choice at the core of the VA program.
Taxpayers, unions, and the Federal workforce
Federal agencies pay for union negotiators’ salaries, so it hurts taxpayers when bargaining drags on for years. The salaries for union negotiators totaled $16 million in 2016 alone. And more than 470 Veterans Affairs employees spend 100 percent of their duty hours working for a labor union instead of serving veterans—including 74 full-time nurses.
A new Executive Order from President Trump will require agencies to negotiate better union contracts more efficiently and transparently. It will eliminate years of costly drawn-out bargaining by encouraging agencies to conclude labor negotiations in less than a year. Moreover, any Federal employees authorized to act on behalf of unions will be permitted to spend no more than 25 percent of their time on union business.