Tester Grills Veterans Affairs Nominees to Make Sure They Are Up For the Job

Veterans’ Affairs Committee Screens Six Nominees

(U.S. Senate) – Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Jon Tester today questioned six nominees to fill vacant positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to ensure they will work hard to improve the lives of America’s veterans.

“As the VA faces debilitating workforce shortages and tough decisions about veterans’ care and benefits, it’s critically important that we thoroughly and quickly vet nominees to serve at the VA,” said Tester. “We need strong leadership in place at the VA so veterans are provided with better access to the care and benefits they have earned. I look forward to working with today’s nominees to ensure that we are upholding our promises to those who have served our country.”

The nominees who came before the Committee are:

  • Thomas Bowman, VA Deputy Secretary nominee
  • James Byrne, VA General Counsel nominee
  • Brooks Tucker, Assistant Secretary of Congressional and Legislative Affairs nominee
  • Michael Allen, Judge for the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims nominee
  • Amanda Meredith, Judge for the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims nominee
  • Joseph Toth, Judge for the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims nominee

Following the Justice Department’s notice to agency heads that they do not need to comply with Ranking Members’ efforts to conduct oversight, Tester pressed Bowman, Byrne and Tucker to be responsive to the entire Committee’s requests for information from the VA. Each assured Tester they are willing to work with him on information requests.

Judges on the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims are responsible for issuing decisions on veterans appealing their VA disability rating. With more than 470,000 veterans waiting for decisions regarding their appeals, Tester asked Allen, Meredith and Toth about ways to ensure that the Court can efficiently and effectively respond to veterans.

Ahead of today’s hearing, Tester met personally with the six nominees.

On Thursday, July 20 at 12:00 PM EST, the Committee will vote on the six nominees.