Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson’s nomination to be secretary of Veterans Affairs has hit a snag as bipartisan senators dig into his record, including allegations of mismanagement of the White House medical office, according to multiple reports.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, is reviewing accusations by current or former White House medical staff that Jackson fostered a “hostile work environment,” reports CBS News, citing multiple sources “familiar” with the situation.
The allegations include “excessive drinking on the job, improperly dispensing meds,” one source reportedly told CBS.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the Veterans Affairs committee agreed Tuesday to postpone Jackson’s confirmation hearing pending further review of the new information, reports the New York Times. The committee has not announced a new date for the hearing, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday.
GOP lawmakers were already concerned about Jackson’s lack of experience managing large organizations, and new allegations, if proven true, could cause them to view his nomination with more skepticism.
Jackson is well liked at White House, but some senior administration officials have questioned whether he has the necessary experience to run the VA, the government’s second largest agency. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was concerned that Trump had tapped Jackson so quickly without going through a normal pre-nomination review, though he has since become one of Jackson’s most stalwart defenders, reports Axios.
In response to reports that Democrats were looking into allegations against Jackson, the White House reiterated its support for his nomination.
“He’s served as the physician to three Presidents — Republican and Democrat — and been praised by them all,” the White House said in a statement. “Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve.”
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