Delay Considered for VA Confirmation 04/24 05:59
Senators were discussing plans to delay the confirmation hearing for
President Donald Trump's pick to be Veteran Affairs secretary over growing
questions about the nominee's ability to manage the government's second-largest
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senators were discussing plans to delay the confirmation
hearing for President Donald Trump's pick to be Veteran Affairs secretary over
growing questions about the nominee's ability to manage the government's
The hearing for Ronny Jackson, Trump's White House doctor and a Navy rear
admiral, was scheduled for Wednesday.
"Some Republican colleagues have told me that they think the hearing should
be postponed, which certainly deserves consideration," said Sen. Richard
Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
"I think there may well be a need for more time, in fairness to Admiral
Jackson, so he and the administration have an opportunity to answer these
questions fully and fairly," he said.
Blumenthal declined to discuss why more time might be needed.
White House and VA officials were also discussing a delay with key allies
outside the administration
A spokeswoman for Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the committee's chairman, did
not return requests for comment.
Trump selected Jackson to head the VA last month after firing former Obama
administration official David Shulkin following an ethics scandal and mounting
rebellion within the agency. But Jackson has since faced numerous questions
from Republican and Democratic lawmakers as well as veterans groups about
whether he has the experience to manage the massive department of 360,000
employees serving 9 million veterans.
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and a committee member, said Jackson's small staff
at the White House will be an issue as he prepares to lead the VA.
"We've got 360,000 people there," he said. "Are they going to manage the
secretary or is the secretary going to manage the VA? That's a good question to
ask, and he needs to answer it. He needs to be the leader. A lot of folks want
to be led and managed."
Rounds said the committee still needs more paperwork from the White House on
Jackson before the nomination can go forward.