Veterans are understandably concerned and apprehensive about the policies that the new Biden Administration will pursue pertaining to Veterans issues, national defense, and military spending. A New York Times exit poll showed that those who served in the military voted 54% to 44% for Trump over Biden last November, and an article by Carl Forsling in the final weeks of the Trump Administration highlighted some key concerns Veterans have about how they will fare with a President Biden.
In his article, Forsling noted that the new Biden-Harris Administration raises memories of the Veterans Administration Wait-Time Scandal of the Obama-Biden years.
After four years of vigorous pro-Veteran policies under President Trump, there has been some skepticism and disappointment over Biden’s nominee to head up the VA. “Notably,” Forsling writes, “Biden has selected Denis McDonough to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, a move that was met with raised eyebrows. McDonough’s critics cite that he has not served in the military, nor does he have a medical background — two factors that usually weigh heavy on a president’s nomination for that position.” And while Biden has pushed for policies favorable to transgender persons serving in the military and favorable to service members testing HIV positive, it is not clear that these policies are widely popular.
After McDonough’s nomination was approved by the Senate, the new VA secretary issued a boiler plate message with standard, non-controversial talking points on Veterans issues, so when it comes to VA policy it remains to be seen whether the Biden-Harris Administration will bring back unfortunate memories of the Obama-Biden years.
During the heat of the 2020 presidential campaign, a Military Times article by Peter O’Rourke and Dari Selnick warned, “Instead of providing veterans world-class heath care, Biden’s plan takes the VA back to not holding the management teams accountable and to roll back veterans’ health care choices.” In the coming weeks and months, Veterans and their supporters will be very carefully watching the Biden Administration’s policies on key issues of concern.