Senate Likes Shinseki for Veterans Affairs
War, economy burden system former Army general would inherit
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2009 3:06 PM CST

(Newser) – Retired Gen. Eric Shinseki garnered bipartisan support for his Veterans Affairs Secretary nomination today in outlining his priorities before Congress, the Military Times reports. The former Army chief of staff admitted to little experience with veterans issues, but his vows to streamline the agency won support from the likes of former Sen. Bob Dole—whom the Bush administration enlisted to improve veteran care.

Shinseki, who could be confirmed as early as Tuesday, would inherit a bulky system burdened by two wars that are sending home soldiers with serious mental health injuries. He prioritized a large boost in educational benefits, an overhaul of the labyrinthine disability claims system, increased funds for health care, and modernization. “I intend to be a forceful advocate for veterans,” he said.