VA Secretary makes ‘obnoxious’ jab at veteran

Rep Mike CoffmanBy The Iowa Statesman


U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald — who has been on the job less than a year — may have been trying to score points in the “soundbite game” during today’s Veterans Affairs Committee hearing in the House of Representatives. If so, he failed miserably.

During a tense exchange between the former CEO of Procter & Gamble and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), McDonald suggested Congress was more to blame for continued VA dysfunction than he was. And when Coffman refused to take the bait, McDonald suggested the congressman was unqualified to assess the situation.

Coffman, before joining Congress, started his own successful business from the ground up. He’s also a veteran and the only member of Congress to serve in both Persian Gulf wars. His spokesman had this to say afterward:

“Mike Coffman has been fighting for years to fix the failures of the Department of Veterans Affairs, but he can’t legislate leadership. Notwithstanding Secretary McDonald’s obnoxious comments, Rep. Coffman is concerned that the secretary will never fix the problems at the VA so long as he refuses to fully acknowledge that his organization continues to be dysfunctional at every level.

“The secretary may think that making personal attacks against Rep. Coffman makes for good sound bites on TV but it’s a diversion from what should be his core task: changing the culture within the VA.”