By EMILY WAX-THIBODEAUX, LISA REIN AND JOSH DAWSEY
from The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The White House wants to remove the Department of Veterans Affairs’ second-in-command as a “warning shot” to VA Secretary David Shulkin, an Obama-era holdover who has frustrated the administration by networking with lawmakers who don’t support President Donald Trump’s plan to overhaul the scandal-ridden health care system, according to people familiar with the matter.
Deputy Secretary Thomas Bowman, who was appointed by Trump and confirmed in August, was said to be at odds with the administration’s plan to expand health care access for veterans through private providers, these people said. His departure would create another senior leadership vacancy at an agency whose highly publicized shortcomings Trump has promised to fix.
A White House official said a plan to oust Bowman was in the works, but some of his admirers in Congress pushed back, saying Bowman’s job is safe.
Deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters referred a request for comment to VA. A spokesman for the agency, Curt Cashour, referred comment to the White House.