Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 23, 2018 - President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had a confirmation hearing on June 27 and cleared the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on July 10.
Trump announced in May that he had picked Robert Wilkie, 55, to permanently lead the troubled VA. However, his original nominee for the post was White House physician Ronny Jackson. Jackson withdrew from consideration after unsubstantiated allegations of professional misconduct emerged. He was also criticized for a lack of experience.
“The VA is in need of strong leadership that puts veterans at the forefront and focuses on serving them,” said Florida veterans lawyer David W. Magann. “The agency’s new head must work quickly to resolve its internal issues and replace bureaucracy with efficiency. There is a wide array of pressing concerns that range from veterans' health care to filling staff vacancies.”
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said Wilkie was crucial to the VA’s transformation as he possessed “the expertise and the positive attitude to take on challenges that lie ahead.” Wilkie has been a Pentagon undersecretary and an officer in the Air Force Reserves. He has led the VA in an acting capacity since Trump fired the agency’s former secretary David Shulkin in March.
The Washington Post previously published a report on Wilkie’s career and his support of Confederate organizations. He was a former member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which has supported public displays of the Confederate flag. Wilkie said he was no longer associated with those groups. He defended his record when questioned during his June confirmation hearing.
Wilkie pledged to “shake up complacency” at the VA and said that excuses would no longer be tolerated. He spoke about his plans to improve the agency’s outdated medical appointment system and tackle various bureaucratic issues.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
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