Many disabled veterans will soon have one less worry that keeps many up at night thanks to action taken by President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Following his speech during the American Vets (AMVETS) 75th annual convention in Kentucky, Trump announced he signed a memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Education to remove all federal student loan debt for tens of thousands of severely disabled veterans, according to The Hill.
For obvious reasons, the announcement elicited applause from those in attendance for his speech, including from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
As far as who the loan forgiveness program will affect, Trump explained that the program will benefit more than 25,000 “completely and permanently” disabled U.S. military veterans.
“Nobody can complain about that, right?” Trump said. “The debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased. It will be gone. They can sleep well tonight.”
Trump went on to explain why he thought disabled veterans deserved a break, given what they have to deal with on a daily basis and the sacrifices they’ve made for America.
“Veterans… who have made such enormous sacrifices for our country should not be asked to pay anymore,” Trump told the audience.
Trump also explained that the debt forgiveness won’t bear the wrath of the Internal Revenue Service.
“There will be no federal income tax on the forgiven debts,” Trump said.
He added that he’ll ask states to follow suit and not tax the loan forgiveness on a state level, according to WCVB.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 21, 2019
During his AMVETS speech, the president said he would refrain from bringing up any campaign-related talking points but soon followed with taking a shot at the “fake news” mainstream media. He also criticized the Iran nuclear deal while talking about the positive effects that manufacturing new military equipment has on the American economy.
Trump honored several high-profile attendees who came to the convention, including home state Sen. Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. He called McConnell “somebody very special” and pledged his support to help the Senate Majority Leader win his re-election in 2020.
The president also drew special attention to Medal of Honor recipient and World War II veteran Woody Williams while joking with the crowd about giving himself the country’s highest military honor.
“I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify, Woody,” Trump said in jest. “I say, ‘can I give it to myself anyway?’ They say, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.'”
AMVETS is a nonpartisan, volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans. According to their website, they have over 250,000 members nationwide.