Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, and Jon Tester, D-Mont., the top lawmakers on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, announced Tuesday that Ronny Jackson’s confirmation hearing to be secretary of the Veterans Affairs department has been postponed.
Chairman Isakson and ranking member Tester released a joint statement saying that the hearing had been postponed "in light of new information presented to the committee."
Their statement went on to say, "We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation. We will continue looking into these serious allegations and have requested additional information from the White House to enable the committee to conduct a full review."
Rear Adm. Jackson, the White House physician, was nominated to lead the Veterans Affairs Department after Mr. Trump fired David Shulkin. CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe reported that accusations made by current and former employees involve a "hostile work environment" and include "excessive drinking on the job" and "improperly dispensing meds," said one of the people familiar with the accusations, who was granted anonymity to speak frankly about the situation. Other people familiar with the stories also confirmed those details.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who also sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee, told reporters Tuesday that lawmakers first learned of the allegations late last week, and they’re seeking the FBI background check.
"The White House has been consistently and abysmally careless, even derelict in the vetting process, which accounts for some of the problems with their nominees," he said. "These very serious questions about Admiral Jackson need answers, and the answers should have been ready well before the questions were raised publicly. And that’s a disservice to the nominee, as well as the American people."
Isakson and Tester sent a letter to President Trump Tuesday requesting all information regarding any improper conduct pertaining to Jackson’s service in the White House Medical Unit and as physician to the president.