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The Senate has confirmed Robert McDonald as the next leader of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs.

The vote was 97 to 0.

President Barack Obama selected the former Proctor and Gamble chief after the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who left after reports exposed wide-ranging mismanagement and manipulation of waiting lists at VA hospitals.

McDonald will be charged with reforming a system bogged down by bureaucracy and mistrust.

It looks likely that he’ll get at least a small assist from Congress before lawmakers leave for their August recess, though. Both leaders in both chambers say they are optimistic that they will be able to fast-track a compromise measure that will aid veterans stuck in long waiting lines for VA hospitals and will ease the dismissal of underperforming employees.



-- Carrie Dann