American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan issued the following statement regarding the selection and confirmation process for secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs:
“The American Legion is very concerned about the current lack of permanent leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Nearly 100 years ago, The American Legion fought to create the VA, and our two million wartime veteran members view the department as a symbol of the American people’s commitment to our nation’s veterans. The VA is a physical reminder of our nation’s promises to care for those who return from war injured or ill, to care for the families of the fallen, and to help veterans transition successfully to the civilian economy following their service.
"While the VA is the nation’s second largest bureaucracy with a budget of $200 billion and more than 350,000 employees, we believe it is entirely manageable and effective when staffed with motivated, experienced and competent people. Our veterans deserve a properly led, efficient and transparent VA that delivers on the American people’s promises.
"The VA has made significant improvements in modernizing and realigning the department since 2014, and was headed in the right direction under the past two incumbents. Our nation’s veterans deserve a strong, competent and experienced secretary to lead this vitally important department.
"As a congressionally-chartered veteran service organization, The American Legion does not advocate for or against individuals seeking elected or appointed positions. We expect that whomever is confirmed by the U.S. Senate will be a person of character who takes care of our nation’s veterans.
"We have faith in the U.S. Senate’s due diligence and will work with whomever they confirm to be the 10th Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”