Kathy Szeliga highlights waste in Veterans' Affairs | WYPR

Kathy Szeliga highlights waste in Veterans' Affairs

Oct 4, 2016

State Del. Kathy Szeliga says eliminating waste in the Department of Veterans' Affairs would be a top priority if she wins a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Credit John Lee

Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga said Tuesday that her top priority if she is elected would be to fix management problems at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The delegate from Baltimore County made the comments while speaking with WYPR’s Tom Hall on Midday.

Szeliga cited $20 million spent on artwork as an example of waste in the VA. A report released by the conservative-leaning nonprofit American Transparency in July found that the chronically underfunded agency spent the money over a 10-year period.

“My heart breaks when I open the paper and read just in the last few days that the VA spent $20 million on artwork. $20 million,” Szeliga said.

She said she would support getting rid of VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who previously was the CEO of Procter & Gamble, even though Szeliga has touted a career in business as the ideal background for someone who sets policy.

But when asked if she would support replacing McDonald with someone else with a business background, she warned that a single senator might not be able to change who runs the VA.

“You know, I don’t get to make that choice, do I?”