REPORT: Biden To Select Former Obama Chief Of Staff To Run Veterans Affairs

(Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President-Elect Joe Biden will select President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, Denis McDonough, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Politico reported Thursday.

McDonough is one of a number of nominations Biden will reportedly make in the coming days, according to a leaked list. The list includes McDonough moving to the VA; former Obama cabinet member Tom Vilsack returning to the role of Agriculture Secretary; Democratic Ohio Rep. Marcia fudge to HUD; anti-China trade lawyer Katherine Tai to U.S. trade representative, and former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to the Domestic Policy Council.

Biden has made significant progress in fleshing out his cabinet in recent weeks, announcing his nominations for both his foreign policy and public health teams. (RELATED: Democrats Press For Quick Supreme Court Decision To Save The ACA)

Democrats on Capitol Hill are currently angry with President Donald Trump’s VA secretary, Robert Wilkie, for making last-minute policy changes aimed at making the branch rely more heavily on private-sector healthcare.

Democratic Sens. John Tester of Montana and Brian Schatz of Hawaii even wrote a letter to Wilkie last week warning against his actions. (RELATED: China Continues To Boom As Rest Of The World Struggles With COVID-19)

“We are deeply troubled by previously announced and ongoing efforts to rush potentially harmful policies through the Department in the last days of the Trump Administration,” the pair wrote. “We are also concerned by what appear to be accelerated efforts by the Executive Branch, including your Department, to hire and ‘burrow-in’ political appointees as career employees and otherwise undermine the federal merit system. Not only is this illegal, but it involves expending taxpayer dollars on the salaries of individuals whose foremost qualifications appear that they were loyal to President Trump.”