Hearing set for Obama's nominee to lead VA

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee next Tuesday will hold a confirmation hearing for President Obama’s nominee to run the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Timing for panel and full Senate votes on Robert McDonald’s nomination depend “on how much time the Republicans make us eat, but the intention is to get it done in time before the August recess,” according to a committee source.

The Senate has three more weeks before it leaves Washington for the recess. The July 22 hearing would give them just over a week to confirm McDonald and get his nomination to the floor.

The confirmation hearing will take place at 2 p.m. Committee members were notified of the pending hearing earlier Tuesday afternoon, the source added.

“At a time when we have unacceptably long waiting times for VA health care and when some 500,000 veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, it is absolutely imperative that the VA move to provide quality care in a timely manner to all of our veterans,” Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE (I-Vt.), the panel’s chairman, said in a statement. “We also must move aggressively to further reduce the claims backlog and veterans homelessness. I look forward to the hearing with Mr. McDonald and hope that his confirmation will give the VA the long-term leadership that it needs.”

Sanders said earlier Tuesday morning that he wanted to take up the nomination quickly because “it’s important that the VA has a permanent secretary as soon as possible.”

Sanders, who met with McDonald on July 8, has not voiced any reservations about the nomination.

The White House tapped McDonald, an Army veteran and retired Procter & Gamble chief executive, at the end of June. McDonald has been well-received by lawmakers in both parties.

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Senate Intel chairman: No need for committee to interview Bannon McConnell: Russia probe must stay bipartisan to be credible MORE (R-N.C.), the ranking Republican on the panel, said he was “ready to take up his nomination and move it and certainly don’t see anything that should stand in its way.”

Burr is due to meet McDonald on Thursday.

McDonald would succeed former VA Secretary Eric ShinsekiEric Ken ShinsekiDem demands Trump provide potential death toll for war with North Korea House approves VA bill, sending it to Trump Senate backs bill making it easier to fire VA employees MORE, who resigned after investigations found the department had covered up long waits that veterans endured to receive care from the VA.

Obama tapped Sloan Gibson, who joined the agency three months earlier as Shinseki's deputy, to run the department until a permanent replacement is found.

In addition to meeting with panel members, McDonald has sat down with Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race Overnight Tech: Regulators to look at trading in bitcoin futures | Computer chip flaws present new security problem | Zuckerberg vows to improve Facebook in 2018 MORE (R-Ohio), who represents his home state, as well as several lawmakers who represent large veteran populations, including Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDurbin: Senators to release immigration bill Wednesday Trump's 's---hole' controversy shows no sign of easing Dem senator: 'No question' Trump's 's---hole countries' comment is racist MORE (D-Colo.), Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (D-S.D.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor Overnight Defense: GOP chair blames Dems for defense budget holdup | FDA, Pentagon to speed approval of battlefield drugs | Mattis calls North Korea situation 'sobering' Bipartisan group to introduce DACA bill in House MORE (R-S.C.).

He has also met with Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (N.Y.), the chamber's No. 3 Democrat.