President Donald Trump’s administration is defending the Veterans Administration’s decision to stop providing benefits to veterans who are disabled.
Trump signed an executive order in January to eliminate benefits for those veterans, which was later expanded to include the disabled.
But the White House defended the move, saying it was necessary to protect the country’s veterans from the risks of long-term homelessness.
“We will never allow our Veterans to be denied benefits because of a disability,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.
Sanders said Trump’s order also will allow veterans to continue receiving benefits at the VA Health Care System.
“This is part of the administration’s plan to ensure that our veterans are protected and their care is timely and that veterans can be treated with dignity,” she said.
Trump’s directive has also sparked criticism from Democrats.
“The Trump administration’s decision is a slap in the face to the brave men and women who have served our country,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Monday.
“Vets have fought for our country, and we need to make sure they are able to get the care they need.”
Sanders added that the VA has been “doing everything it can” to accommodate disabled veterans, and the White, House said it will continue to work with Congress to ensure veterans get the necessary services.