Trump’s VA Pick Gets Tripped Up, Sec. Of State Pick Scores Needed Votes

This week is crucial for President Trump as he looks to get two of his cabinet Secretaries confirmed by the Senate. The legislative chamber has routinely delayed the confirmation votes, but has scheduled votes for Trump’s pick for Veterans Affairs Secretary Ronny Jackson and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Jackson served under previous administrations as White House physician and is a United States Navy Rear Admiral widely applauded by members of both parties. He is facing some trouble with his confirmation though as new information concerning prior work complaints was presented to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Per Associated Press:

A Senate committee says it has delayed Wednesday’s confirmation hearing for Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Spokeswoman Amanda Maddox cites growing questions from lawmakers over Jackson’s qualifications.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee was scheduled to hold Jackson’s hearing on Wednesday.

Trump selected Jackson to head the VA last month after firing former Obama administration official David Shulkin following an ethics scandal and mounting rebellion within the agency. But Jackson has since faced numerous questions from Republican and Democratic lawmakers about whether he has the experience to manage the massive department of 360,000 employees serving 9 million veterans.

And, per Washington Examiner:

The Senate Veterans Affairs panel has indefinitely postponed the confirmation hearing for Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson to serve as the next VA secretary.

Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and ranking member Jon Tester, D-Mont., announced the decision Tuesday morning, after accusations surfaced about Jackson drinking while on the job and improperly handing out medication.

Jackson had been scheduled to face the Veterans panel on Wednesday. No new date has been set.

The Trump administration is standing by Jackson amid these questions concerning his qualifications and workplace allegations.

Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley also offered support for Jackson saying he has a record of “strong decisive leadership” and is “exactly what’s needed at the VA.”

Check it out:

Pompeo, who previously faced an uncertain vote by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, was approved by a 11 to 9 vote. Paul, since Trump’s nomination of Pompeo, definitively argued against Pompeo due to his views on military involvement in the Middle East and his views on torture tactics. The precarious “no” vote held Pompeo’s fate in limbo. On Monday evening, Senator Rand Paul announced assurances from Trump and Pompeo have convinced him to change his vote.

Per Fox News Insider:

Paul, who has been very concerned about U.S. military presence and expenditures overseas, was previously hesitant to vote to bring a vote for Pompeo to the full Senate.

However, by late Monday, Paul indicated and later voted ‘yea’ on moving Pompeo’s nomination to the full body.

Martha MacCallum asked Paul what “changed his mind” on the matter.

Paul said that Trump and himself both consider “unequivocally” that the Iraq War was “a mistake” and was concerned that Pompeo did not share that vision.

And, via Politico:

Even the final vote count on Pompeo’s nomination sparked temporary intrigue in the committee, as Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) agreed to vote “present“ despite his opposition so that Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) could steer the nominee to the floor without waiting hours for the delayed Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) to vote. The final roll call was 11-9.

Paul’s change of position on Pompeo, whom he had indicated he would oppose as recently as last Thursday, came minutes before the nominee’s scheduled vote in the committee. Corker appealed to potential Pompeo supporters by observing that the nominee, a veteran House Republican, has forged a notably close bond with Trump.

“He has a very good relationship with the president,” Corker told fellow senators ahead of the committee vote. “That is somewhat different from the last three secretaries of state we have had.”

Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the views held by Sarah Palin.

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