VA Secretary Nominee Robert Wilkie testifies before Senate

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Colby Hochmuth reports on the Senate confirmation hearing of Trump’s new pick to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, and Peter Levin, former Chief Technology Officer at VA, Rebecca Burgess, program manager at the American Enterprise Institute Program on American Citizenship and Louis Celli, DC executive director of the American Legion, provide a perspective on his answers.


After David Shulkin was fired from the position of Veterans Affairs Secretary, Robert Wilkie was appointed acting head of the agency. Last week, the Senate held Wilkie’s confirmation hearing to become the new permanent secretary. Senators questioned Wilkie on subjects like privatization and electronic health records.  On the Sunday edition of Government Matters, Francis Rose spoke with a panel of three experts on Veterans Affairs for analysis.

 

Peter Levin, former Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs –

 

“I think the nominee did a fantastic job. I really appreciated what he said about maintaining his focus on the health record interoperability, making sure that we’re going to have a successful, step by step, methodical deployment of the new electronic health record. I agree with him about privatizing the agency, and I appreciated Sen. Sanders question… and I think that the secretary nominee was unequivocal in his answers.”

 

Louis Celli, DC executive director of the American Legion –

 

“Robert Wilkie certainly has a lot to tackle in these upcoming months and days, he is a professional witness, he did a wonderful job. He’s been there before. He was able to work with these congressional leaders and give them thes type of answers they were looking for and that’s going to be half the battle for him moving forward… This is his third confirmation hearing.

He is someone who is comfortable at the witness chair and that’s going to be important for him.”

 

Rebecca Burgess, program manager at the American Enterprise Institute Program on American Citizenship –

 

“Any student of leadership or anyone who’s ever worked in an office knows that the tone can be set by the person at the top.

It will be challenging but I think that by walking around the offices as he says he has done, he is signaling that he is interested and figuring out all the aspects that the VA covers.”