weather icon Light Rain

Trump raises funds in Las Vegas for GOP candidates, signs VA bill

Updated September 21, 2018 - 3:49 pm

When you are President Donald Trump and you’re holding a fundraiser for Republican candidates in Las Vegas, where do you hold your event? Probably at the same place you spent the night, the Trump International Hotel.

The president headlined a Friday morning fundraiser for Sen Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Republican congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian at the hotel, where, away from the press corps, donors paid up to $50,000 per couple to attend a roundtable and have their photo taken with Trump.

After the event, the president’s motorcade headed to the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center to show solidarity with the state’s 300,000 veterans.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie introduced Trump as “the first president to put veterans at the center of his campaign.”

Nevada’s top Republicans, Gov. Brian Sandoval, Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Heller attended the ceremony along with some 150 Nevadans, many of them veterans. Heller, Trump noted, worked for the bill “all the way, right from the beginning.”

Of his support of veterans, Trump said, “You back me and I back you. That’s the way it works.”

Also on stage stood Vin Putignano, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran who has lived in Las Vegas for two years. Recent changes, he marveled, allowed him to find a new podiatrist for an ulcerated toe.

“He came and made a house call,” Putignano told the crowd.

“This is a very special situation,” Putignano said. “I’m getting old. I think a couple people in here are too.” He then turned to look at Trump, who smiled while the audience laughed

Later Trump deadpanned to Putigano, “Take care of that toe.”

Trump then signed three spending bills, including a measure to provide $86.5 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs — increasing the agency’s budget to “the largest ever,” he boasted.

The bill includes money for veterans’ health care and provides a $1.1 billion increase to pay for efforts to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the VA system.

“To every veteran here today: We are eternally grateful for your noble service to our nation,” Trump said. “And we’re fighting to make sure that you get the care that you so richly earned.”

VFW Legislative Director Carlos Fuentes hailed the bill.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s a full year appropriation, it’s an increase from previous years and specifically includes funding the VA Mission Act,” which will increase access to care for veterans and should speed up payments.

The other two bills Trump signed appropriated money to fund the Energy Department and the legislative branch, including Congress and the Capitol police. Congress last week approved the $147 billion package of bills as part of an effort to head off a government shutdown.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or at 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
House committee OKs bill by Titus for airport signs

The House Homeland Security Committee approved a bill by Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., Wednesday to translate airport signs into multiple languages to assist tourists and others who don’t speak English.