Over the last month, the Veterans Affairs Department completed outreach to 135,000 veterans across the country and scheduled approximately 182,000 additional appointments in the wake of the recent scheduling controversy, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson told President Obama in a June 27 meeting. In addition to outreach and scheduling, the VA trained about 10,000 of its schedulers and allocated nearly $400 million to accelerate care for veterans, a readout of the meeting says.
President Obama is expected to nominated Bob McDonald, a West Point graduate and former head of Procter & Gamble, as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, The Washington Post reports.
While President Obama might be struggling with his popularity in the United States, he's number one on Twitter. As of June 25, Obama (@BarackObama) tops a world-leader list with 43.7 million followers. Pope Francis (@Pontifex) is a distant second with 14 million followers on nine different language accounts, according to a 2014 global study by the global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller.
The Obama administration needs to conduct a "rigorous strategic review" and cost-benefit analysis of the use of drones in counterterrorism efforts, said a new report on lethal drones released by a nonpartisan task force co-chaired by a former U.S. Central Command commander.
In a report to President Obama, the Office of Special Counsel described a "troubling pattern" of Veterans Affairs Department officials ignoring veterans' concerns about the quality of care at veterans' health facilities nationwide. The report cited whistleblowers' "struggle to overcome a culture of non-responsiveness."
"I am calling on Congress to support a new Counter-Terrorism Partnerships Fund of up to $5 billion, which will allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines," said Obama May 28 while delivering the commencement address at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
Veterans Affairs Department Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned Friday in the wake of findings that veterans' hospitals across the country doctored appointment wait lists. Shinseki couldn't help VA take the next step in reforming its practices without being a distraction, President Obama said at a May 30 press conference.
The House Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would make it easier for the head of the Veterans Affairs Department to fire senior executives. The bill's (H.R. 4031) passage comes as the VA is under fire for allegations that veterans died waiting for care and medical facilities doctored records to make it look like they were meeting department wait time goals.
Those responsible for alleged Veterans Affairs Department medical facility misconduct will be held accountable, but no action will be taken until two separate reports on the controversy are finished, President Obama said May 21 in a White House press conference. Obama dispatched White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors to investigate the alleged 40 deaths of veterans waiting for care at a VA medical facility in Phoenix and also allegations of rigged record keeping at facilities.
"There are many, many ways to fudge the work that OMB and Treasury now have to do," said Hudson Hollister of the Data Transparency Coalition.