WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement after the Senate voted to confirm Robert McDonald to head the Veterans Administration.
“I am proud to have joined the overwhelming majority of the Senate in confirming Robert McDonald to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and its more than 340,000 employees. As a veteran, Mr. McDonald comprehends the unique difficulties facing veterans and military retirees, and as a business leader, he has demonstrated the organizational skills to pinpoint and eliminate intransigent bureaucratic obstacles that have blocked veterans’ access to needed care. I was impressed with Mr. McDonald’s testimony to Congress, which revealed a deep commitment to our returning heroes and a desire to be responsive to their urgent needs.
“Today’s vote marks a positive turning point in our treatment of America’s veterans. A solemn trust has been broken and fresh leadership is needed to regain the trust of America’s veterans and their families. President Obama has selected a nominee with the ability and the desire to transform the VA so it can meet the myriad challenges our veterans face. Last month, I had the privilege of visiting the Veterans Health Care System in Baltimore. We’ve seen bipartisan progress toward correcting the systemic problems facing our veterans’ health care system, and I am encouraged by the additional staff and resources being deployed in Baltimore. I look forward to working with the next Secretary and the VA’s leaders to address homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, and other pressing issues confronting those who have served our nation.”