VA’s acting secretary said he is trying to improve “efficiency and effectiveness” — even as he clears out apolitical civil servants who were good performers.
Wilkie was pressed by some Democrats to explain his past embrace of divisive cultural views, but he received the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s overwhelming support.
A set of executive orders goes into effect and is likely to escalate tensions building since Trump took office. A federal judge is expected to consider union lawsuits against the president this month.
During his confirmation hearing Wednesday, the top Pentagon official also faced questions about his past defense of Confederate symbols.
Robert Wilkie’s Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The sweeping plan builds on President Trump’s pledge to shrink the size and scope of the federal government, a long-sought goal of conservatives.
The Trump administration wants to merge overlapping, duplicative functions, including welfare programs.
The White House wooed Manchin in hopes of clearing the way for Republicans to win his seat in heavily pro-Trump West Virginia this fall.
Starting in the 1990s, the North Koreans and Americans had worked jointly to recover remains for more than a decade, but the cooperation was suspended during the George W. Bush era amid political tensions.
The White House is encouraging lawmakers to back off a plan to fund the $50 billion veterans health law.