WASHINGTON — The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee is poised to advance Robert Wilkie as the next Veterans Affairs secretary this week, and the full Senate will likely follow shortly thereafter.
While his confirmation seems certain — key committee leaders have already offered their support for his nomination — it’s unclear whether he’ll see the same unanimous support that David Shulkin received with his Senate confirmation vote in 2016.
In fact, no VA secretary nominee sent to the Senate floor has ever received an opposition vote. All have either been unanimous or voice votes without any official votes against.
Wilkie, who was easily approved last fall as the Pentagon’s under secretary for personnel, is not seen as a controversial pick for the post. But President Donald Trump’s handling of Shulkin’s firing upset several lawmakers, and his past policy statements on sending more money for veterans medical care to private-sector doctors could be enough to create some resistance.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — Dirksen 419
The committee will consider two pieces of legislation: a resolution supporting NATO and a measure codifying Israel security assistance.
Senate Veterans’ Affairs — Time TBD — Senate chambers
VA Secretary confirmation
The committee will hold a vote on the nomination of Robert Wilkie to be the next VA Secretary.
Wednesday, July 11
House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2118
Mark Mitchell, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for special operations, and other administration officials will testify before the committee on the Defense Department’s role in foreign assistance programs.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2172
State Department officials will testify before the committee on advancing U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere.
House Oversight — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2154
Outside experts will testify before the committee on the global threat posed by Muslim Brotherhood groups.
House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2172
Outside experts will testify before the committee on China’s predatory trade strategy.
Thursday, July 12
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Cannon 334
Members will discuss the formation of a new subcommittee to oversee VA work on electronic medical records, and also discuss pending legislation.
House Financial Services — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2128
The committee will hear from outside experts on financial networks used for worldwide weapons proliferation.