President Trump signs legislation to reform Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON D.C. (KUSI) — President Trump signed legislation Friday aimed at reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It gives VA leadership more power to fire failed employees and protect whistleblowers. 

Reforming the VA was a key pledge for the president when he was on the campaign trail last year. He previously referred to the VA as the most incompetent run agency in the country.

It’s called the "VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protect Act." The president said it’s one of the largest reforms to the VA in its history.

The VA has been under fire after it was revealed that dozens of veterans died or were seriously injured due to long wait times at veterans hospitals nationwide. 

The scandal led to the resignation of former President Obama’s VA secretary, Eric Shinseki. 

At Friday’s bill signing, the president gave a special thank you to veteran Sgt. Michael Verardo, who was injured in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED. Sgt. Verardo said he knew he was risking his life when he enlisted, but he wasn’t prepared to be let down by the VA when he came home.

"I wasn’t prepared to watch my wife beg, plead and make countless phone calls," Sgt. Verardo said. 

These changes were made within weeks.

The president adds our veterans have fulfilled their duty to this nation and now, we must fulfill our duty to them. 

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