U.S. President Barack Obama faced a convention of veterans and will take questions from television host Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show,” as concerns run high about Iran, veterans’ care, and a shooting rampage against U.S. Marines.
Obama traveled to Pittsburgh Tuesday morning to speak to the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ national convention, a day after the U.N. Security Council unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal with Iran.
After Pennsylvania, Obama will hop on a quick flight to New York to tape one of Stewart’s final episodes after 16 years hosting the Comedy Central show.
At his first stop, Obama highlighted a federal rule he’s finalizing on predatory lending and the military to make the case to the VFW that he’s working to make things better for America’s military families. Obama started off the week Monday signing a bill to allow all veterans to receive official IDs from Veterans Affairs even if they don’t meet certain criteria for VA services.
Obama’s appearance comes amid serious persisting problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been under intense scrutiny for more than a year over waitlists and other shortcomings in the VA health system. Last week, the VA said it can’t count how many veterans died while waiting to sign up for health care, and may have to close some hospitals if Congress does not address a $2.5 billion shortfall.
The military community has also been on edge over the killing of four Marines and a sailor last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Obama has pledged a prompt and thorough investigation into an attack that authorities have blamed on a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man.
At “The Daily Show,” where Stewart’s tenure ends Aug. 6, Obama will likely face questions about the nuclear deal he and world powers struck with Iran — to the dismay of Israel’s government, Republicans in Congress and even many Democrats. The White House is mounting a massive outreach campaign to try to win over skeptics and avert a congressional attempt to scuttle the deal, dispatching top officials daily to television shows and Capitol Hill. Obama’s appearance on the show will air Tuesday night.
Story by the Associated Press