Isakson Applauds Committee Approval of Nominee to be VA Deputy Secretary

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today applauded the bipartisan committee approval of James Byrne to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“I am glad to support Mr. Byrne’s nomination to serve as the deputy secretary of the VA,” said Isakson. “As the VA continues to implement transformative reforms over the next several months, it is going to be crucial for the department’s leaders to ensure it is operating effectively, efficiently and in the best interest of our veterans. With the VA MISSION Act set to be implemented tomorrow, it’s even more pressing that the VA have its leaders in place as quickly as possible to ensure a successful transition to the new community care program. I urge the Senate to act quickly to confirm Mr. Byrne.”

Byrne was favorably approved 13-4 by the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Byrne’s nomination will now head to the full Senate for confirmation.

The deputy secretary is the VA’s chief operating officer responsible for working in tandem with the secretary to oversee the VA’s nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs and national cemeteries for America’s veterans and their dependents. If confirmed, Byrne’s top priority will be to help the VA implement the reformed Veterans Community Care Program as directed by Isakson’s landmark VA MISSION Act, which goes into effect on June 6.

Byrne has been VA general counsel since August 2017, and added the duties of acting deputy secretary in August 2018. You can read more about Byrne’s qualifications here.


The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 116th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as nearly 700,000 veterans.