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Senate panel backs Missal as VA inspector general

By MATTHEW DALY | Associated Press | Published: January 12, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has approved the nomination of Washington lawyer Michael Missal to be the new chief watchdog at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs.

President Barack Obama nominated Missal to be the VA's inspector general in October. Lawmakers from both parties have long sought a permanent inspector general for the VA as the agency struggles to meet veterans' health care needs and provide timely decisions on benefits. The IG's office has not had a permanent leader since December 2013.

The chairman of the Senate veterans panel, Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, says the top priority of the inspector general must be to "hold bad actors at the VA accountable" for chronic delays for veterans seeking medical care and other problems at the agency.
 

Michael J. Missal listens to opening statements at a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on his nomination as Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Nov. 17, 2015, on Capitol Hill.
Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes

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