What Veterans Affairs needs to fix its deeper issues

Ronny Jackson
Ronny Jackson withrew his nomination to be VA Secretary last week. (Photo: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

The most obvious problem at the Veterans Affairs Department is that it doesn’t have a secretary. But that leadership vacuum only compounds the deeper issues the VA has spent years trying to overcome.

The big picture: The VA is the second-largest federal agency, with a huge annual budget, and it’s also at the center of a heated political debate. But advocates generally agree about what its needs are.