Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

VA Secretary Hearing Won’t Be ‘Sexy’

Obama's Nominee To Head Veterans Affairs Dept. Robert McDonald Meets With Sen. Sanders On Capitol Hill

McDonald, left, meets with Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., on July 8 on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“I don’t think it’ll be particularly sexy,” says Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina about this afternoon’s confirmation hearing on Robert McDonald to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, according to CQ Roll Call’s Connor O’Brien.

Burr, the ranking member on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, says the panel will probably have an “overwhelming vote when we have it,” and he hopes the vote will be sooner rather than later. (Here’s more for subscribers.)

McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble chief executive, appears before the committee at 3 p.m. His nomination to replace former Secretary Eric Shinseki — who resigned amid growing allegations that the VA’s medical appointment scheduling system had been manipulated — has generated little controversy or opposition.

CQ Roll Call’s Healthoplis notes that Shinseki’s confirmation hearing several years ago feels like a world away. Back then, the only senator who asked about potential cultural problems at the department was Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Niels Lesniewski and Humberto Sanchez at Roll Call’s #WGDB blog have more on the general state of play for presidential nominees, including some frustration over a pileup of more than 50 ambassadorial picks.

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