WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) met with the president’s nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department Wednesday and emphasized two Virginia-based initiatives that would help transform operations at the embattled agency.
Sen. Warner solicited support from Robert McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble corporate executive and Army veteran, for the innovative College of William & Mary’s Puller Veterans Clinic, which dramatically speeds-up the VA’s processing time for handling disability claims.
Warner also urged the secretary-designate to embrace a pro bono offer from several leading technology firms in Northern Virginia to assess and recommend solutions to fix the VA’s troubled patient scheduling system.
“There is a lot of work to do to ensure that we can provide our veterans with the medical services and payments they deserve, and Mr. McDonald’s military service and private sector management experience is exactly what we need to transform the VA," Warner said.
McDonald has pledged to turn things around and bring those responsible for the crises to justice.
“Those employees that have violated the trust of the department and of veterans must be, and will be, held accountable,” he testified during his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday. “I desperately want this job because I think I can make a difference. If not me, then who.”
McDonald’s nomination was endorsed by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday. It is not clear when the full Senate will vote on his confirmation.