WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today applauded the Senate approval of James Byrne to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Byrne was confirmed by a vote of 81-11.
“I am pleased that the Senate has confirmed Mr. Byrne’s nomination to serve as the deputy secretary of the VA,” said Isakson. “As the VA continues to implement significant 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. I look forward to working with Mr. Byrne as we continue to transform the VA into a department worthy of our veterans.”
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to consider Byrne’s nomination on May 16, and the committee voted on June 5 to favorably send his nomination to the full Senate for a vote on final 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. As deputy secretary, Byrne’s top priority will be to help the VA implement the new, streamlined Veterans Community Care Program, which went into effect on June 6 as directed by Isakson’s landmark VA MISSION Act.
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.