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Denis McDonough speaks during a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee confirmation hearing. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Senate on Monday voted 87-7 to confirm Denis McDonough as the secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Why it matters: McDonough, who has not served in the armed forces, was chief of staff for former President Barack Obama. Before taking on that role in Feb. 2013, he served the Obama administration as deputy national security adviser and chief of staff of the national security staff.

The big picture: McDonough will take over the Department of Veteran Affairs as it seeks to ensure the country's 18 million veterans get the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • During his confirmation hearings, McDonough said that Biden has tasked him with focusing "on getting our veterans through this pandemic."
  • McDonough also said that the "Department of Veterans Affairs faces great challenges, challenges made even more daunting by the coronavirus pandemic. Its capabilities have not always risen to the needs of our veterans," per NPR.

Go deeper

Updated Mar 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's nominees for attorney general, health and human services secretary, interior secretary, CIA director and U.S. trade representative will testify before Senate committees next week.

The big picture: Biden wants known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

Feb 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Koch ads urge Biden to pull Afghan troops

Screenshot of forthcoming ad from Concerned Veterans for America. Courtesy photo.

The Koch-backed group Concerned Veterans for America is launching a seven-figure digital ad campaign this week urging President Biden to pull all remaining U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by May, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The ad blitz comes as Biden's national security team is debating whether to delay the withdrawal, amid fears the wrong decision could lead to a resurgence of terrorism and uptick of violence in the country.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
53 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

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