Veterans Affairs Secretary Struggling To Profit Off Of Underfunded Department

Illustration for article titled Veterans Affairs Secretary Struggling To Profit Off Of Underfunded Department

WASHINGTON—Blaming the chronic lack of resources for hampering his ability to run the agency the way he wanted, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie told reporters Monday that he was struggling to profit off of his underfunded department. “When I took this job, I really didn’t expect that there would be so little funding going to veteran care that it’s basically impossible to skim millions of dollars off the top,” said Wilkie, adding that he left a lucrative position in the private sector because he believed that working in the Veterans Affairs department would allow him to rake in some quick cash for himself and his friends. “Frankly, I was just going to slash funding for healthcare and community care and redirect that money into outrageously overpriced consulting gigs, but Congress has spent so many years depriving veterans of funding that there’s basically nothing left to gut. As it is, I can barely cobble together the cash for a single private jet ride—and that’s only going one way. When I talk to other Trump appointees like [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos and [Transportation Secretary] Elaine Chao and hear about the easy money they get from their golden-goose agencies, I can’t help but wonder why our government is okay with leaving the leaders of the Veterans Committee out in the cold.” Wilkie also expressed concerns that he hadn’t made it clear enough in previous budget requests that none of the money would be actually going to veterans.

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