Miss. Delegation Statement Regarding VA Secretary, McDougall Appointment

Statement Reiterates Ongoing Concerns Regarding VA Actions Affecting Veterans Care

January 19, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Mississippi congressional delegation today issued the following joint statement reiterating their ongoing concerns regarding Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) actions affecting veterans care in Mississippi, including their continued opposition to the appointment of Skye McDougall, Ph.D. to be the network director for the South Central Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care Network.

“On Tuesday at the request of Secretary McDonald, we met with him and Skye McDougall regarding her appointment. Following the meeting, we are more convinced than ever that her appointment is a bad decision, and that the Secretary and his team’s handling of the issue has made a bad situation worse. Although this decision belongs to the Secretary, we are dismayed that he would disregard the unanimous advice of the elected representatives of the people. We remain concerned about the state of care being offered to veterans in Mississippi and remain committed to doing everything that we can to ensure that they receive the type of care that they have earned.”

Since that meeting, members of the delegation have continued to express their discontent to VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald.

The delegation in December issued a letter to McDonald asking that McDougall’s appointment be rescinded due to her controversial testimony to Congress regarding wait times for veterans to receive care in Southern California and the VA’s recent efforts to place her in other parts of the country.