Senate to vote Monday on Trump's VA nominee
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The Senate is scheduled to vote next week on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE's pick to the lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.) teed up a vote on Robert Wilkie's nomination for 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

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Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonSenators demand answers on reported lead poisoning at Army bases Overnight Defense: Questions mount over Trump's Iran tweet | House, Senate unveil compromise defense bill | Bill includes Russia sanctions waivers, limits on Turkey's access to F-35 | Endangered species measures dropped Senate confirms Trump's VA pick despite opposition from some Dems MORE (R-Ga.), the chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said earlier Thursday that the Senate should vote to confirm Wilkie “without delay.”

"It is of utmost importance that any policy changes that impact the future of the department be made by a confirmed VA secretary who can be held accountable by Congress and the American people," Isakson said.

Presidential physician Ronny Jackson, Trump’s initial pick, withdrew his nomination in April amid allegations of professional misconduct.

Wilkie's nomination has, by comparison, been fairly low key.

Questions were temporally raised about his nomination when The Washington Post reported that Wilkie has worked throughout his career for polarizing lawmakers and officials, whose controversial views he has defended.

But Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Pearl Jam criticized for poster featuring dead Trump, burning White House Montana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad MORE (Mont.), the top Democrat on the Senate's veterans panel, defended Wilkie, saying at the time that the nominee is qualified and a "good guy," and would wait to see Wilkie's response to the questions.

“That's why we’re having a hearing,” Tester said. “He’ll have an opportunity to answer some of those questions. Many of them happened 20 years ago.”

Wilkie defended his stance toward women and minorities during his confirmation hearing, telling lawmakers, "I will stand on my record.”

Wilkie was subsequently approved by the committee in a near-unanimous vote. Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBoogeywomen — GOP vilifies big-name female Dems RealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida MORE (I-Vt.) voted against him.

Wilkie previously ran military personnel policy at the Pentagon for the Trump administration before serving as acting VA secretary. He stepped down from acting VA secretary after being nominated for secretary.