President Obama’s nomination of Bob McDonald for Secretary of Veterans Affairs is an encouraging sign of the President’s intent to move swiftly in a bipartisan manner to immediately and effectively overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. I commend the President for recruiting a United States veteran with demonstrated experience leading a large, complex organization in the private sector. I am hopeful that Mr. McDonald’s approach to effectively supporting military families will be holistic in including the nation’s 5.5 million military caregivers.
Last week, a White House assessment of the VA revealed serious systemic and cultural challenges. We must address these root issues at the VA, while also leveraging the support and reach of the nonprofit, private, labor, and faith communities. Our service members selflessly risk their lives to protect every American. Therefore, I believe every American should play a part in ensuring that our veterans, active service military members, and the caregivers of the wounded – spouses, mothers, fathers, and other loved ones – receive the support they have so nobly earned. I look forward to working with Mr. McDonald at this critical time for America’s military families.