Boozman, Tester, Isakson, Tillis

Executive Session (Wilkie Nomination)

Senator Booznan: (5:01 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Robert Wilkie to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    • "Today this chamber will take an important step to ensure we have leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs to oversee the implementation of historical reforms that we passed in May to improve the V.A.'s health care delivery system and provide veterans with more choices and fewer barriers to care. We will vote on the nomination of Robert Wilkie to serve as secretary of the V.A. Having served our nation in uniform as well as experiencing military life as the son of a wounded combat soldier, Robert Wilkie's extensive career in a wide range of defense and veterans issues makes him uniquely qualified to serve as the next secretary of the V.A."

 

Senator Tester: (5:11 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Robert Wilkie to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    • "Today we are going to fulfill our constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent on the president's nominee. This is a responsibility that I take very, very seriously and especially as my role as ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. And our committee, Chairman Isakson and I oversee the screening and confirmation of 12 nominees to serve veterans and I'm proud to say we confirmed them without dragging our feet. Recently we had Mr. Robert Wilkie before the committee for his confirmation hearing, members of our committee asked him tough questions about his vision for the V.A. We asked him about his plan to bring much needed stability to the nation's largest health care system."

 

Senator Isakson: (5:17 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Robert Wilkie to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    • "Now have the chance to be overridden and solved and we step forward on a new day for the V.A. We no longer want someone has going to make excuses for the V.A. We want someone who is going to make a difference. Robert Wilkie understands the needs of our veterans in rural areas. He understands the needs in large urban cities. He understands the threat of suicide and our need to get mental health accessible and available to our veterans at all times. He also knows that we've given him a quiver of arrows that he can use to root out the bad players and lift the good players. The V.A. Mission Act is absolutely rule number one."

 

Senator Tillis: (5:25 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Robert Wilkie to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    • "He grew up on Fort Bragg, he is from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He's done an extraordinary job serving our office and mentoring my staff, working for leaders in the Senate, leaders in the House, Secretary Gates, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and now General Mattis. He is going to do an extraordinary job because he understands what it's like to be the son of a veteran, to be a member of the armed services himself - he served in the Air Force to this day, the Army previously. He has attended the Army War College, has a law degree and a keen understanding of how this governing body works. He also has great relationships with people across the spectrum, the political spectrum."