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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Confirmed: Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary & Dr. Shulkin as VA Secretary

President Trump watches as VP  Pence  swear
in Steve Mnuchin as  Treasury Secretary next to
Mnuchin's fiancée Louise Linton - Feb. 13, 2017
ARRA News Service: Two more nominees by President Trump were confirmed today. The U.S. Senate voted (53- 47) to confirm Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary. Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting with the majority to confirm.

After some opening comments by President Trump, Steve Mnuchin was sworn in by Vice President Pence at the White House.

David Lawder writing for Reuters noted, "Lawmakers, lobbyists and business groups have been waiting for Mnuchin to fill in the many blanks on how he will pursue tax reform and handle delicate economic cooperation efforts with China, Mexico and other trading partners worried about President Donald Trump's "America First" trade strategy.

Mnuchin faces immediate challenges with the March 15 expiration of a U.S. debt ceiling suspension, ushering in the threat of a new default showdown, and a March 17 meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies, where he will face tough questions about Trump's plans to increase trade protections."


Today the U.S. Senate also confrmed Dr. David Shulkin by a vote of 100-0 for Secretary of the Veterans Administration. Shulkin was serving under the former Obama administration official was the VA's top health official since 2015. He is the first non-veteran to lead the VA.

The AP has been cited by several news sources with the additional info about Dr. Shulkin and the VA:
He'll have plenty to do once sworn in. Shulkin has acknowledged that Congress should hold him to a higher standard of faster results as a former VA official who has laid initial groundwork for changes. He says he should be fired from his job if, like some VA secretaries before him, he isn't able to significantly fix problems and regain veterans' trust.

"You're not going to hear me asking for a learning curve," Shulkin said at his hearing. "I don't have a lot of patience and I am going to be serious about making these changes and regaining that trust."

The immediate challenge includes revamping scheduling and access for VA medical appointments following a 2014 wait-time scandal. Shulkin is urging a more integrated VA network where veterans could seek outside private care only in coordination with the VA. He has not sketched out full details.

"We've yet to hear from him how he'll pursue President Trump's vision for a public-private partnership at the VA," said Dan Caldwell, policy director for the conservative group Concerned Veterans for America.

Shulkin also will have to address long backlogs for veterans who apply for disability payments — he calls its appeals system "broken — and grapple with the White House's order of a 90-day federal hiring freeze. According to Shulkin, the White House agreed to exempt 37,000 out of 45,000 VA vacancies, but major veterans organizations say much more hiring is needed to eliminate red tape.
Shulkin came to government with three decades of experience in patient care and leading private hospitals. The son of an Army psychiatrist, he was born on an Army base and trained at VA hospitals.

Tags: US. Senate, confirms, Steven Mnuchin Treasury Secretary, David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 9:00 PM - Post Link

2 Comments:

Anonymous Rep French Hill, AR-02 said...

For eight years, the Obama Administration put a higher premium on creating regulatory policy than it did on creating economic growth. There is no greater example of that than the Dodd-Frank Act, which has hurt our financial industry and had crippling effects on consumers and business of all sizes. Steven Mnuchin’s nomination—and now confirmation—is a signal that this administration will have the leadership in place to work with Congress to claw back the burdensome regulatory policy that has contributed to our slow economic growth.


2/14/2017  
Anonymous Sen. John Boozman said...

Dr. Shulkin understands that we have a shared responsibility to ensure the brave men and women who have served our nation have access to all the benefits and quality care they have earned. He is committed to modernizing VA and bringing accountability to a department, that for too long, operated in the dark.



We have reaffirmed our commitment to our veterans through the reforms included in CHOICE Act and other legislative initiatives. I am eager to work with Dr. Shulkin to build on that momentum and on additional efforts moving forward. I am confident that as Secretary, he will strive to ensure every veteran, no matter where he or she lives, has access to the timely, quality care they deserve

2/14/2017  

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