Senate committee approves VA nominee

Francis Rivera

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved President Obama’s pick to lead the troubled Veterans Affairs Department, sending his nomination to the full chamber.

Senators voted 14-0 for former Procter & Gamble executive Robert McDonald to run the agency, which has been rocked by a scandal over falsified reports over how long veterans were waiting for care.

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It is unclear when the full Senate will vote on his nomination, with lawmakers facing a busy slate of work ahead of the August recess.

Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said he planned to speak with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to determine when the nomination could be brought to the floor.

“Obviously, we would like to get this done before the break,” he told reporters.

McDonald is widely expected to be confirmed by the Senate.

During his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, he promised to hold the VA’s employees “accountable” and reform the troubled agency.

“Those employees that have violated the trust of the department and of veterans must be, and will be, held accountable,” he told lawmakers.

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