Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

Capitol DC Congress
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary. He has the mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

McDonald, 61, of Cincinnati, was unanimously approved to replace Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson, who took over in May after Eric Shinseki resigned.

McDonald has pledged to transform the VA and promised that “systematic failures” must be addressed. He said improving patient access to health care is a top priority, along with restoring transparency, accountability and integrity to the VA.

The vote to confirm McDonald comes as Congress appears poised to approve a $17 billion compromise bill to overhaul the VA. Lawmakers expect final votes this week.

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