President Obama will unveil his pick Monday to lead the problem-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs, tapping a former chief executive at Procter & Gamble to tackle deadly lapses in medical care at the overwhelmed agency.
The unorthodox selection of Bob McDonald, who most recently served as chairman of Procter & Gamble, breaks from the tradition of selecting a senior military leader for the post. However, the administration hopes that McDonald, a Republican who donated money to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, will garner bipartisan support a deliver badly needed customer service to veterans.
Obama will announce the nomination Monday afternoon at the VA's headquarters, just a few blocks from the White House. The president on Friday received a scathing internal report that blamed the lack of medical treatment at VA hospitals on a “corrosive culture.”
Obama's pick drew rare praise from Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other conservatives. But if the Senate confirms McDonald, he faces the daunting challenge of correcting issues that have plagued multiple administrations -- shortcomings that exploded under Obama's watch.
“The only way McDonald can set the department up for long term success is to take the opposite approach of some other VA senior leaders,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. “That means focusing on solving problems instead of downplaying or hiding them.”
In addition to the VA announcement, Obama on Monday will meet with Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, at the White House. And he will host a reception to honor LGBT Pride Month.
The president on Tuesday will hold a Cabinet meeting and give an economic speech at the Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington.
Obama on Wednesday will host a lunch for top economists at the White House.
And on Friday the president will celebrate the July Fourth holiday with a barbecue and concert for veterans and their families.