Washington, D.C. - General Eric Shinseki, President-Elect Obama's intended nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, met today with U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka in the Senator's Washington office.
"I was happy to congratulate General Shinseki on his nomination in person," Akaka said following the meeting. "I have known him for many years and have always been impressed. Over his career he has sacrificed and has stood up to defend his troops. He does what is right, not what is easy. I know that as Secretary he will continue to be a champion for those who have served our nation."
"Today we discussed my goals for VA going forward: appropriate funding for the Department as a cost of war, ensuring a seamless transition for troops from active duty to veteran status, restructuring VA for better delivery of services such as health care, benefits, education, and housing, and increasing Congressional oversight of VA programs and facilities.
"I also told him I want to see an increased emphasis on mental health care. VA needs more doctors trained to treat invisible wounds such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has commanded troops in combat and I am pleased that he understands the needs of combat veterans."
Chairman Akaka announced yesterday that General Shinseki's confirmation hearing will take place January 14, 2009, at 10 a.m. It has been moved to Dirksen Senate Office Building room 106 to accommodate a larger audience.
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