Following President-elect Trump’s announcement on Wednesday that Dr. David Shulkin was going to be the next one to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin released a statement saying that he plans to “hold Dr. Shulkin’s feet to the fire” to make sure he does all that is expected of him to fix the plagued V.A.. Rep. Zeldin also told American Military News that the government and the American people all have the tools to make sure the V.A. is performing.
“The President, Congress, media and public all have tools that can be utilized to ensure proper oversight and accountability,” Rep. Zeldin told American Military News. “Congress holds oversight hearings, writes law and controls the power of the purse. All options must be on the table to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs is performing at the highest possible level.”
“The Department of Veterans Affairs desperately needs so many reforms on multiple fronts to improve the standard of care for veterans. After several opportunities to interact with Dr. Shulkin these past two years, I’m confident that he is fully aware of the many challenges that currently exist,” Rep. Zeldin said.
“What I am eager to be assured of though is that he is actually going to do everything that needs to be done about it,” he continued.
He then went on to reiterate President-elect Trump’s constant rhetoric about being committed to reforming the department and hopes Shulkin, who was the deputy secretary of the V.A. in the Obama Administration, will be able to keep Trump’s promises.
“I would hope and expect that the President, Congress, media and American public will hold Dr. Shulkin’s feet to the fire to ensure he follows through and does not fail in any capacity whatsoever with this new mission,” Zeldin said.
“He certainly wasn’t my number one pick to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs,” he continued, “but I’ll be the first in line to shake his hand and say thank you if he seizes this opportunity and makes the absolute most of it in the best interests of Long Island’s veterans, the Northport VA and the entire community nationally of all America’s sons and daughters who answered the call to serve our great country in defense of our freedoms and liberties.”