Brown: VA Nominee Must Earn Support of Veterans, Oppose Privatization

Senator Listening to Ohio Veterans, has Held Roundtables Across the State

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today said he will listen to Ohio veterans as he considers President Trump’s newly named nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie. Brown serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee, which will consider Wilkie’s nomination. Brown says Wilkie, who is currently serving as Acting VA Secretary, must commit to oppose privatization and earn veterans’ support to win Senate approval.

Since former Secretary David Shulkin left the VA in April, Brown has held roundtables across Ohio to listen to their priorities for the next leader of the VA.

“We have a responsibility to work every day to strengthen and improve the VA, and any nominee to head the VA must earn the support of veterans and oppose efforts to abandon that responsibility by privatizing the VA,” said Brown. “Privatization means putting profits ahead of those who served our country, and I will fight any effort to use America’s veterans to line the pockets of wealthy corporations. I look forward to posing these questions to Robert Wilkie and listening to Ohio veterans as he goes through the confirmation process.”

Reports indicate Dr. David Shulkin was fired in April because he opposed efforts to privatize the VA. Brown is the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Ohio on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.