Senate confirms new VA secretary
by Harvest Prude
Posted 7/24/18, 10:52 am
The Senate confirmed Pentagon official Robert Wilkie as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday by a vote of 86-9. Wilkie, an Air Force and Navy veteran, said he would “shake up complacency” at VA, the government’s second largest department. During the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump called VA “the most corrupt” department and promised to steer patients to private sector aid. At a June 27 Senate confirmation hearing, Wilkie reassured senators he would not privatize healthcare for the 9 million veterans the department serves, but he also has said he wants to implement the newly signed VA Mission Act to allow easier access to private care. Wilkie is the president’s third pick for the position in the last 18 months. Trump nominated him in May after firing his first VA secretary, David Shulkin, who was facing ethics charges. His replacement choice, White House doctor Ronny Jackson, withdrew after workplace misconduct accusations surfaced.
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