Six of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Department of Veterans Affairs, including deputy secretary, were confirmed by the Senate on Thursday.
Thomas Bowman, a retired Marine Corps colonel, will be VA Secretary David Shulkin’s deputy secretary. He has served as staff director of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee since 2015, when Sen. Johnny Isakson became chairman.
Brooks Tucker was confirmed to be the assistant VA secretary for congressional and legislative affairs. Tucker was a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team and is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps. He previously was a senior adviser to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Amanda Meredith, Michael Allen, and Joseph Toth were all confirmed to serve as judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Meredith has served on the Republican staff of the Senate VA committee since 2015. She has also worked at the U.S. Court for Veterans Claims for almost 8 years.
“The Judges confirmed today will be the backstop in ensuring that veterans can use the benefits they have earned,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Currently, there are 470,000 veterans waiting for a decision on their appeals claims.
Also confirmed by the Senate was James Byrne to serve as the VA’s general counsel. Byrne most recently worked for defense contracting firm Lockheed Martin as their general counsel.
“I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for their swift confirmation of these exceptional nominees.” Said Sen. Johnny Isakson R-GA, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “I have no doubt they will do great work on behalf of our nation’s veterans.”