Blumenthal: VA nominee will face ‘tough questions’

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) warned President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs that he would face tough questioning from lawmakers before a confirmation vote.

On Sunday, the White House announced Obama would nominate Robert McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble chief executive and West Point graduate, to head the troubled VA.

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The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hasn’t scheduled a hearing to consider McDonald’s nomination yet, but it is expected after the Senate returns from a weeklong recess.

“Our committee must ask tough questions to assure this nominee has the management experience and expertise necessary to drastically overhaul the VA,” Blumenthal said Sunday.

Eric Shinseki, the former VA secretary, resigned after reports that some VA facilities were trying to cover up long wait times for healthcare services.

“We need to be fully satisfied that he'll vigorously demand and impose a new culture, with rigorous accountability, and first class services to veterans, our nation's heroes," Blumenthal said. "Our nation's veterans deserve no less — management that achieves reform and results.”

Obama is scheduled to officially announce the nomination of McDonald later Monday.