David Shulkin’s job could be in jeopardy after a major ethics controversy, a resignation request by GOP Representative Mike Coffman, and rumors of internal fighting with the White House.
Shulkin has been in hot water for taking his wife on a taxpayer-funded 10 day trip to Europe.
The VA’s inspector general recently released the devastating results of an investigation into Shulkin’s trip. It found his chief-of-staff altered an email and made false statements to a department ethics official that led to taxpayers covering expenses for Shulkin’s wife.
Now, several veteran advocacy groups are coming to support the Trump-appointed VA secretary.
“We hold the VA to a high standard—its leadership even more so,” Disabled American Veterans National Commander Delphine Metcalf-Foster wrote. “While we were troubled to learn of the recent IG findings, we believe Secretary Shulkin took appropriate steps in reimbursing the department for any and all financial obligations found to be outside the scope of his official travel.”
“We have been encouraged by the great progress Secretary Shulkin has made and believe that he remains the best person to lead this important federal public institution on the behalf of the American people,” American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan said in a statement Monday.
“What the VA needs in order to progress is stability in leadership,” said Kris Goldsmith, assistant director of policy at Vietnam Veterans of America. It’s a tremendous organization, and it takes an immense amount of time and energy to truly understand it. Dr. Shulkin knows that system, and his continued leadership is essential to reforming the VA so that our nation fulfills its promises to its veterans.”
“Secretary Shulkin has worked with us throughout his time at the helm, and he’s been successful in leading significant changes and laying the tracks for more important reform,” AMVETS National Executive Director Joe Chenelly said on Sunday.
”This political infighting must stop, so we also support full transparency about what is really going on,” Veterans of Foreign Wars Executive Director Bob Wallace said in a statement. “The mission of VA is too important to have this type of behavior impacting employee morale and the trust of veterans in their VA.”