McDonald One Step Closer to Leading the VA

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Tuesday considered the nomination of former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald to be the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Acknowledging the “monumental task” that would be putting together the scandal-wrecked agency, the members of the committee lauded McDonald’s corporate background as valuable to righting the ship. “I think Mr. McDonald brings to us two very important qualities: he is familiar with the military, because he has served in the military for a number of years, and … he has been the CEO of an American corporation that has many employees,” said committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sanders also said McDonald’s history of demanding good quality management and a high degree of accountability would be welcome in the department. “I hope that Mr. McDonald’s corporate experience will help bring that management and accountability that we need in our VA.” The committee rattled off a list of well-documented problems within the VA: reports of fraud and mismanagement, understaffing, and the transition to a paperless system in the Veterans Benefits Administration. McDonald, who is a graduate of West Point and a former Army captain, has said he plans to stand in the waiting lines himself and experience first-hand the process the veterans seeking care endure.