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*** President Trump plans to nominate acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to fill that job on a permanent basis. Shanahan, who was confirmed as DOD's deputy secretary by a 92-7 vote in July 2017, has been serving as acting secretary since Jan. 1 of this year.

Shanahan was seen as a leading candidate for the job, but an internal probe of alleged conflicts arising from allegations that Shanahan had promoted the interests of his former employer Boeing while in office put the selection process on hold. An Inspector General investigation concluded that Shanahan had not acted improperly.

Word of the nomination came via a May 9 tweet from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. When reporters asked how he responded to the news, Shanahan replied, "I called my mom."

*** The House Appropriations Committee approved a funding bill for FY2020 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. The vote was 31-21. In the legislative report, lawmakers indicated they had declined an administration request to allow the transfer of funds from other VA accounts into the Electronic Health Record Modernization program, which is slated to receive $1.7 billion in 2020. The committee also said it wants the program – which uses the same Cerner software as the Defense Department's new system – to continue to be led out of the deputy secretary's office. The report also directs VA to explore hybrid cloud and software-defined networking to support implementation of the Cerner system on VA networks.

Posted on May 10, 2019 at 12:35 AM


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