July 10, 2018

Duckworth Meets with VA Secretary Nominee Robert Wilkie


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator, combat Veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) met today with Robert Wilkie, the nominee to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to discuss his nomination and how to ensure America’s Veterans can access the quality care and support they have earned. Duckworth served 23 years in the Reserve Forces and still receives her own healthcare services through VA. B-roll of the meeting is available here and a photo of the meeting is available here.

“We must do everything we can to ensure Veterans can access the benefits they have earned and that VA continues to provide quality care for Veterans across this country,” said Senator Duckworth. “Ever since I recovered at Walter Reed, I’ve made fighting for and protecting Veterans and Veteran families my life’s work. I’m glad I could meet with Mr. Wilkie to discuss how we can work together to support our nation’s heroes, and I thanked him for his service to our country and for his commitment to maintaining VA’s mission as the principle coordinator of care.”

Duckworth and Wilkie spoke about the critical role VA plays coordinating care for Veterans across the country and his commitment to oppose further privatization of VA. They also talked about her bipartisan legislation to make preventive healthcare more affordable for Veterans, her bipartisan legislation to strengthen Veteran-owned small businesses and her bill to make childcare more affordable for Veterans and help reduce Veteran unemployment. She also thanked Wilkie for VA’s support of the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy and invited him to join her on a visit to the Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, which he committed to doing.

Duckworth has dedicated her life to serving America’s servicemembers and Veterans. As a Senator, she has been outspoken about protecting Veterans’ access to healthcare, introduced legislation to help Veterans become citizens, and she recently passed an amendment to help train Veterans for jobs in fast-growing energy industries. As a Congresswoman, she coauthored the bipartisan Clay Hunt SAV (Suicide Prevention for American Veterans) Act, which passed both the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law to improve mental health care services for Veterans and reduce Veteran suicide. She also introduced the bipartisan Troop Talent Act—large portions of which were signed into law—to help servicemembers transition to civilian life by making it easier for them to turn the skills they learned in the military into the credentials and licenses needed for similar civilian fields.