The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for healthcare and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.
McDonald, 61, of Cincinnati, will 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 healthcare is a top priority, along with restoring transparency, accountability and integrity to the VA.
The 97-0 Senate vote to confirm McDonald comes as Congress appears poised to approve a $17 billion compromise bill to refurbish the VA and improve veterans’ healthcare. The bill is intended help veterans avoid long waits for healthcare, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them, and make it easier to fire senior executives at the agency.