After Jackson Withdraws, Tester Thanks Those ‘Who Bravely Spoke Out’

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: speaks during a news conference to discuss opposition to H.R. 1599 on August 5, 2015 in Washington, DC.  H.R.1599, known as the "Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK)," which would "take away the right of states to label Genetically Modified Organisms, stop the Food and Drug Administration from ever using its authority to craft a national GMO labeling standard, and add to consumer confusion by allowing 'natural' claims on GMO foods." (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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The ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, who was reviewing allegations against Ronny Jackson, President Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, thanked the “service members who bravely spoke out” shortly after Jackson withdrew his nomination Thursday morning.

“It is my Constitutional responsibility to make sure the veterans of this nation get a strong, thoroughly vetted leader who will fight for them,” Sen. John Tester (D-MT) said in a statement Thursday. “The next secretary must have a commitment to reform a strained health care system and a willingness to stand up to special interests who want to privatize the VA. My sleeves are rolled up and ready to work with Chairman (Johnny) Isakson (R-GA) to vet and confirm a Secretary who is fit to run the VA.”

In the statement, Tester also said he is urging Congress to “continue its investigation into the White House Medical Unit.”

Jackson announced his withdraw on Thursday morning, after facing multiple allegations this week that he created a hostile work environment, had issues with “excessive drinking” on the job and  overprescribed medication. Jackson has denied all the allegations, but said he would withdraw to avoid being a “distraction.”

Tester and Isakson announced Tuesday they were postponing Jackson’s confirmation hearing while they looked into allegations that were surfaced by at least 20 current and former military personnel, Tester said.

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