MILITARY

VA Secretary Shulkin: Expect boost to veterans spending

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says he expects a spending boost in President Donald Trump's budget for veterans programs. He says his department will likely escape proposed cuts slated for other domestic programs.

Shulkin also says he would seek "hundreds" more exemptions to a federal hiring freeze for his department.

The 57-year-old physician spoke to reporters Tuesday after addressing hundreds of veterans at an American Legion conference.

Trump's preliminary budget blueprint seeks a surge in mostly military spending while slashing domestic programs and foreign aid by about 10 percent.

Shulkin says VA spending will increase, citing rising demand for veterans care.

He says the budget will reflect the "president's commitment to deliver on his promise to make veterans' care better and stronger and to transform the VA."