WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today on the Senate's confirmation by unanimous consent of General Eric K. Shinseki to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs:
"General Shinseki has risen from humble beginnings to become the Secretary of the second-largest Cabinet-level department in the federal government. Twice wounded in Vietnam, Shinseki fought to stay in military service so he could continue to serve his country. I believe he will bring that same commitment and patriotism to his new role.
"I look forward to working with Secretary Shinseki and President Obama to help VA fulfill its sacred obligation to veterans and their families."
President Barack Obama designated General Shinseki as his choice to head the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on December 7, 2008. On January 14, 2009, Akaka chaired a Senate hearing on General Shinseki's presumptive nomination, and called for a quick confirmation by the full Senate.
January 20, 2009