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Trump’s VA director cut a program that housed homeless veterans despite president’s pledge to take care of them

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A mere two days after Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin renewed President Donald Trump’s promise to house the tens of thousands of homeless veterans in the US, he reneged on the promise and announced the department is scaling back a program that does exactly that.

As Politico reports, Shulkin and the VA are “essentially ending a special $460 million program that has dramatically reduced homelessness among chronically sick and vulnerable veterans.” Instead, they’re allocating those funds to VA hospitals to use as they please, as long as they provide “evidence of dealing with homelessness.” The move comes after a joint program announced with the Housing and Urban Development Department toured at the end of November.

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On the December 1 call explaining the move to interested parties, “anger exploded” among veterans’ advocates and even HUD officials, five people who were on the call told Politico.

“I don’t understand why you are pulling the rug out,” National League of Cities housing official Elisha Harig-Blaine, who was on the call, told Politico. “You’re putting at risk the lives of men and women who’ve served this country.”

The report notes that earlier on Wednesday, HUD’s annual survey showed a 1.5 percent increase in the homeless veteran population, the first time it’s risen since 2010.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Subcomittee member Patty Murray (D-WA) called the move “a new low,” that was “especially callous and perplexing” given the rise in veteran homelessness.

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In 2016, HUD data showed that there were almost 40,000 homeless veterans living in the US.


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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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