WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) pressed Denis McDonough, President Biden’s nominee to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, on a number of key priorities for Ohio veterans during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing.
Brown pushed the nominee to ensure VA has the resources and personnel to treat veterans at VA facilities, and work with him to protect veterans’ GI Bill benefits by rooting out misrepresentation at predatory for-profit institutions and address veteran homelessness.
“Mr. McDonough is committed to serving those who served us – our nation’s veterans,” said Brown. “He will fight to ensure VA has the resources and staff to provide veterans’ timely access to healthcare and I know he will rebuild trust with veterans and their families, with the Veteran Service Organizations that advocate for our veterans, and the VA employees who serve them. He committed to working with me to root out misrepresentation at predatory for-profit institutions that prey on veterans using their GI Bill benefits, to help military homeowners stay in their homes, and to address veteran homelessness. I look forward to working with him and urge the Senate to move quickly with his confirmation.”
Last month, VA proposed a program that would require military borrowers exiting a COVID-19 mortgage forbearance to pay back their missed payments, with interest, within 10 years.
This is more expensive than what other federal mortgage programs are offering, and would make it more likely that VA borrowers will fall behind on these new, higher monthly payments. Brown got McDonough to commit to work to address the shortfalls of this program and work to help keep veterans from falling behind.
Brown also encouraged McDonough to visit the National VA History Center in Dayton. In May Brown applauded VA’s formal announcement establishing the VA History Office (VAHO), which includes the National VA History Center (NVAHC) at Dayton’s VA Medical Center (VAMC).
The lawmakers were instrumental in working with the former VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to move the monumental project forward.
Brown previously met with McDonough in December.