The Senate on Monday easily confirmed physician David Shulkin to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, charged with delivering on President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to fix long-standing problems at the department.
Senators voted 100-0 to approve the former Obama administration official, who was the VA’s top health official since 2015, in a rare show of bipartisanship amid partisan rancor over Trump’s other nominees. Shulkin secured the backing of Senate Democrats after pledging at his confirmation hearing to always protect veterans’ interests, even if it meant disagreeing at times with Trump.
The 57-year old physician has ruled out fully privatizing the agency and says wide-scale firings of VA employees are unnecessary, describing the VA workforce as “the best in health care.” Trump had made accountability and rooting out wrongdoing a cornerstone of VA reforms, having called the department “the most corrupt.”
Shulkin is the first nonveteran to head the government’s second-largest agency, which has nearly 370,000 employees and an annual budget of nearly $167 billion.
Read the whole story from ABC News.
Featured image courtesy of AP.