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Robert McDonald confirmed as new Secretary of Veterans Affairs

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 By Bernadette Cullen

As a veteran-owned small business who employees a number of former military personnel, Anglicotech paid close attention to the confirmation hearings for the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

On Tuesday, 30 July 2014 the United States Senate voted unanimously to confirm the president’s pick for the position, Robert McDonald.

McDonald, former CEO of Proctor & Gamble, served in the Army and graduated from the Army’s West Point Military Academy. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stated during the debate before the vote that Secretary McDonald was qualified because he served in the Army, but also because he is part of a family of veterans that has used the Veterans Administration personally for care.

As Secretary, McDonald is in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which dispenses benefits and services to eligible veterans of U.S. military service and their dependents. Secretary McDonald takes over the position from General Eric Shinseki who resigned after serious flaws were exposed throughout the Veterans Administration including wait lists for medical facilities, manipulated records, and numerous appeals backlog.

According to the Congressional Research Service, during FY2014, 9,111,955 eligible veterans were enrolled with the Veterans Administration, which is a 78% increase from the enrollment in FY2001. Since FY2003, 63%-65% of all VA-enrolled veterans have used VA health services each year.