WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a 23-year veteran of the Navy and Naval Reserves, released the following statement regarding the firing of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Dr. David Shulkin.
“Barely one year ago, Secretary Shulkin was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Over the last year, he has earned the trust and confidence of every major veterans group in the country and the respect of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, myself included.
“Just this past Monday, Secretary Shulkin attended my annual veterans summit in Delaware for the third year in a row. He arrived early and spent the entire morning talking with veterans from across the First State. When the summit was over, those in attendance gave Secretary Shulkin a standing ovation. That is not only a testament to Secretary Shulkin as an individual, but also to the great strides he made during his time leading the VA.
“Secretary Shulkin, along with his predecessor Bob McDonald, inherited an array of challenges at the VA, but he worked hard to restore the trust of both veterans and taxpayers. In both the Obama and Trump Administrations, he led the VA in modernizing its aging facilities, decreasing the amount of opioid prescriptions by 36 percent, improving access to care, and reaching out to veterans to prevent suicide, which Secretary Shulkin made the VA’s number one clinical priority.
“What the VA so desperately needs is strong and steady leadership. Like our nation’s Veterans Service Organizations, I was confident that, under the leadership of Secretary Shulkin, who is an accomplished and respected public servant, the VA could continue improving. I look forward to meeting Admiral Jackson soon and hearing how he plans to ensure continued progress at the VA.
“I am very thankful to Secretary Shulkin for his service, and I know our nation’s veterans are, too.”