Originally posted on NBC News
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced a new plan to eliminate student loan debt for disabled veterans.
“The debt of disabled veterans will be entirely erased,” Trump said in a speech at the 75th annual American Veterans convention in Louisville, Kentucky. “In a few moments, I will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Education to eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled.”
At the conclusion of his remarks, Trump stayed on stage to sign the executive order in front of the crowd of several hundred veterans gathered for the convention in the Galt House Hotel.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased. It will be gone,” Trump said. “Sleep well tonight.”
Trump, who was accompanied on his trip by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, among others, said that his proposal would eliminate an average of $30,000 for each of the more than 25,000 eligible veterans “who have made immense sacrifices, the ultimate sacrifice in many ways for our nation.”
“That’s hundreds of millions of dollars in student debt held by our severely wounded warriors. It’s gone forever,” he said.
Trump kicked off the beginning of his speech joking that he’d weighed giving himself a Medal of Honor, the highest recognition that can be awarded to those who’ve served in the military.
“I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify,” Trump, who received multiple draft deferments during the Vietnam War, said to the gathering of veterans. “I said ‘could I give it to myself anyway?’ They said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.'”
Trump was later expected to headline a fundraiser in Louisville for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s re-election campaign before returning to Washington.