Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCabinet picks boost 2018 Dems Franken emerges as liberal force in hearings GOP eyes new push to break up California court MORE (D-Nev.) announced an agreement Thursday to hold a confirmation vote on Robert McDonald to be Veterans Affairs Secretary.
Reid asked unanimous consent for him and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSanders set for clash with Trump’s budget pick Cabinet picks boost 2018 Dems Overnight Finance: Trump takes US out of Pacific trade deal | WH says Trump has left his businesses | Lobbyists expect boom times MORE (R-Ky.) to schedule a time for the vote, which could happen as early as today.
McDonald was nominated by President Obama to head the VA, which has been plagued by a scandal over long wait times for patients and those seeking benefits.
"In a critical moment, Mr. McDonald is faced with a monumental task to fix the serious systemic and cultural challenges at the VA," Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayWarren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Warren: GOP ‘ignored’ ethical requirements for Cabinet picks Overnight Healthcare: Takeaways from Price's hearing | Trump scrambles GOP health plans MORE (D-Wash.) said. "After hearing from him personally, I am confident he will bring his successful management and leadership track record, and his commitment to service, to ensure our nation’s heroes get the benefits and services they have earned."
McDonald is a former Procter & Gamble executive, who lawmakers are hoping can change the culture of the VA, after an investigation found mismanagement throughout the healthcare system.
Former VA Secretary Eric ShinsekiEric ShinsekiDems, GOP battle over pace of Trump confirmations Report: Trump considering two health CEOs to lead VA Trump considering Navy Adm. Michelle Howard to run VA: report MORE resigned after reports that VA facilities falsified waitlists to hide backlogs in healthcare treatment.
Lawmakers are working on a deal to allow some veterans who have waited for healthcare to seek medical treatment at non-VA facilities, but House and Senate leaders have so far failed to reach an agreement on compromise legislation.