FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
Friday, May 18, 2018
Camlin Moore, 202-224-9126
Isakson Statement on Nomination of Robert Wilkie to be VA Secretary
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today responded to President Donald J. Trump’s announcement that he plans to nominate Robert Wilkie to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Wilkie has served as acting secretary of the department since March 28, 2018. He was previously serving as the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
“As acting secretary of the VA, I’ve enjoyed my time getting to know Robert Wilkie and working alongside him to advance community care legislation through Congress,” said Isakson.“I congratulate Undersecretary Wilkie on his nomination and look forward to learning more about his long-term views for the VA, including how he plans to implement the VA MISSION Actwhen it becomes law, as we work through the confirmation process.
Next week, the Senate is voting on the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act, called the VA MISSION Act for short. The VA MISSION Act builds on legislation previously introduced by Isakson to consolidate and improve VA community care programs. The legislation also includes provisions to improve VA’s ability to hire high-quality healthcare professionals, expand VA caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras and establish a process to evaluate and reform VA’s existing facilities to best serve veterans.
The legislation passed the U.S. House on May 16 by a vote of 347-70.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 115th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as more than 750,000 veterans.