April 15, 2016 - The confirmation battle over Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland isn’t the only one mired on Capitol Hill.
Senators also are blocking the nominee to be the top watchdog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
President Obama nominated Washington lawyer Michael Missal in October to be the inspector general at the VA, but one-by-one, senators — both Democrat and Republican — have placed holds on any confirmation vote for Missal, citing problems at the VA they want addressed first.
The paradox is that under federal law, the inspector general is an independent watchdog responsible for rooting out those problems and making recommendations for improvement. And the post has been vacant at the VA since December 2013, occupied by interim inspectors general even as crisis after crisis plagued the agency.
"We're extremely disappointed that Republicans in Congress haven't moved forward with Michael Missal's confirmation to the post of VA Inspector General despite the fact that he's eminently qualified," White House spokeswoman Katie Hill said Friday. "Congress should act swiftly so that the VA has a permanent watchdog." read more>>>