Senate panel postpones confirmation for VA appointee Jackson

Senate panel postpones confirmation for VA appointee Jackson

April 24 (UPI) — The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday postponed a confirmation hearing for Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary.

Jackson was scheduled for a confirmation hearing Wednesday, but the panel postponed it over reported concerns about Jackson’s conduct as military doctor.

Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson, R- Ga., and ranking member Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said in a joint statement they decided to postpone the hearing “in light of new information.”

“We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation,” the statement said. “We will continue looking into these serious allegations and have requested additional information from the White House to enable the committee to conduct a full review.”

Isakson and Tester sent a letter to Trump requesting information about any improper conduct surrounding Jackson’s service in the White House Medical Unit, and as physician to the president.

Tester said he was unsure how Jackson was vetted by the White House, but said now that the task is in the committee’s hands, it’s “our job to vet these candidates.”

“We are doing that, once we come to a conclusion, whether he’s fit to serve or not, then we’ll move forward with the hearing.”

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Tuesday the administration supports Jackson for the VA post.

“Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve,” Gidley said.

Jackson has faced questions about his qualification to lead the second-largest agency in the federal government.

Last month, Trump announced he would replace David Shulkin in the post.