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Shaheen meets privately with VA secretary nominee McDonald

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen met privately yesterday with the president’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid pressure in May after reports of mismanagement and faulty recording that led to long wait times at VA hospitals, sometimes resulting in veteran deaths.

President Obama announced Robert McDonald as his nominee June 30 and McDonald has met with several senators since. McDonald is a former chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble who served five years as a U.S. Army captain.

During the meeting in her office, Shaheen discussed with McDonald the need for sweeping reforms at the VA and the care of New Hampshire veterans, who do not have an in-state full-service VA hospital, according to a release from her office. Shaheen and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte have been pushing for a law that would allow veterans who don’t live within 20 miles of a full-service VA hospital to receive care at other hospitals.

In a statement, Shaheen said she thinks McDonald’s role as a former CEO gives him the necessary management skills to fix the VA’s problems.

“I believe Mr. McDonald’s leadership background and management skills as a former CEO will translate well into reforming the corrosive problems at the VA. I am eager to work with him on fixing the serious problems veterans in New Hampshire and across the country have faced,” she said.

Shaheen also reiterated her call for the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the VA reform bill authored by Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent. The bill passed the Senate but the House has not taken a vote.

Veterans’ issues have become a central piece of the U.S. Senate campaign. Shaheen has repeatedly highlighted her own work to help veterans in New Hampshire, while her Republican opponents Jim Rubens and Scott Brown say she hasn’t done enough. During her 2008 campaign for U.S. Senate, Shaheen attacked then-Sen. John E. Sununu for not bringing a full-service VA hospital to New Hampshire, yet in her six years in the Senate she has not done so either. Rubens has said that both Shaheen and Brown, who was in the Senate from 2010 to 2012, could have taken steps earlier to address problems at the VA. Rubens has called for a voucher program that would allow veterans on wait lists for care to get treatment at a hospital of their choosing.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or or on Twitter @kronayne.)

Legacy Comments4

Is there a new report showing that Veterans are now being seen within the 14 day window at those hospitals or is the VA now just saying the mandate is just not being met. All these politicians jump up and down saying how bad it is and it must be fixed, but what have they done beside talking about it. Personally I find that Congress is far more dysfunctional than the VA. A simple voucher system could have already temporarily fixed the problem until a large term fix is implemented. How about a law saying Congress has to pass a budget by the deadline or they work for no pay and no benefits until one is passed.

Since the departure of Art Buchwald, newspapers have wanted for reliable political humor. Maybe the Monitor can give Joe S. a weekly op-ed space so that we can all have a good laugh on a regular schedule.

Gracchus, When somebody doesn't do their job, they ought to be fired! That goes for Shaheen AND Brown because both of them KNOW the law but disobey it, and the "Law Enforcement" Bozos in this state of The State Police take their marching orders from a General, who is an appointed attorney, and so much for the check* and balance. We send people to D.C. to check*, not supposed to write checks to their Brothers of The Bar (in MAss. too) for unlawful travels to Maine of our N.H. Article 12 inhabitants against the 6th Amendment, re: the Ed Brown case. The sooner the people realize how awful these career politicians are the better! This "op" of opinion is what Hassan says is that of against her opinion and so the Ed Brown case against her for a judge's decision to be THE decision on the unconstitutionality of RSA 662:1 and so to the jury for $damages to us having to eventually pay for Shea-Porters retirement and throw light on those State Legislators too running for Federal office, of to have to pick the lesser of #-number of evils in the Senate Race and that there are the working man candidates in the Fed. Rep. Race with only one not tied to government in some fashion: one with a Board, the other with boards, re: people vs lumber. Thus on a cartoon, of too many Pinocchio's. Liars and thieves! When this newspaper writes the story of Ed's case #297 in Merrimack County Superior Court in their own words [rather that what? in code? (;-) ] then you will get the translation. that the U.S. Codes are unlawful. And so to put more attorneys to work. Less people to feed and house in Uncle Sam's FCI's that they call a correctional facility, but supply no teachers to teach as in to Article 18 reform. Follow the $money is the saying of you ought to see where yours and my taxpayer money goes to lazy good-for nothings in state and federal. Time to "clean House". Throw the bums out!

Neither Shaheen nor Brown sought to enact legislation by Section 5 of what to do with the Section 2 penalty within the 14th Amendment that calls for the representation in Congress to be reduced in us eleven (11) states that do not elect our "Judicial officers" but who appoint these cronies to the bench. It's the law and they do not deserve to be reelected for their lack of effort before, in getting paid but not doing the job; thieves! Only then will the U.S. Codes and Statutes at Large be lawful. Right now its like in a football game of too many players on the field to get the ten-yard penalty, of too many M.O.C.'s / Members of Congress. To fix the quantity before electing the one and only lawful Federal Rep. here, and THEN deal with to revise the Reapportionment Act of 1929, as I think that each state ought to have at least 4 Federal Reps for the majority interests over the 2 in the Senate, so with any penalty 4 minus 1 = 3 of still over 2, get it?

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