Sen. Murray offers statement on nomination of new head for Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs needs a leader committed to accountability and improving health services for veterans, Sen. Patty Murray said following this week’s announcement of a nominee to lead the department in the next administration.

Dr. David Shulkin, the current VA Under Secretary for Health, was announced this week as President-elect Trump’s choice to lead the agency.

Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released the following statement Wednesday after the nomination announcement:

“Our veterans and their families make incredible sacrifices on behalf of our country, and they deserve a VA Secretary who always puts their needs first. As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I take this nomination very seriously and I look forward to hearing from Dr. Shulkin about his vision for this extremely important role and how he will navigate any misguided attempts to privatize VA. Additionally, I want to thank Dr. Shulkin for the service he has already given to our country in his current position.

“In recent years, I have worked closely with many of the members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to help ensure VA has the resources it needs, but one thing is clear: This department requires far more than money – it requires a leader who can drive a culture of accountability and truly deliver on VA’s promise to care for all of those who have served, whether that means championing reforms to the Choice program, expanding access to mental health care, promoting transition services, or making sure VA facilities and providers fit the needs of an increasingly diverse veteran population, of which women are the fastest-growing segment.

“Throughout this nomination process, I will be a voice for the 600,000 veterans in my home state of Washington, as well as tens of millions of veterans around the country, who in their service earned an extraordinarily committed and compassionate VA Secretary who can take the reins during what is a critical time of transition for this department.

“The stakes are far too high to accept anything less.”

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