- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Tuesday that John Kelly’s new role as chief of staff is a true reset for the Trump administration.

“I think that this is a reset. I think that this is a White House that is dealing with so many issues and trying to move so quickly that it’s taking a while to learn the best way in which to organize itself internally, and to represent itself externally. And I think we now are on the right path, and I think everybody’s committed to making sure that we support both Chief of Staff Kelly and the President,” Mr. Shulkin said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

Mr. Shulkin also said he believes the cabinet will start meeting more frequently now that Mr. Kelly is running the staff operations inside the White House, adding that President Trump mentioned that at Monday’s cabinet meeting.

“I do believe that the cabinet will probably start getting together on a more regular basis, and get together on a more frequent basis. That is one of the things that the President talked about yesterday, and one of the pieces of order that I believe that Secretary Kelly, and now Chief of Staff Kelly, will be bringing to the table,” he said.

At the Veterans Affairs Department, Mr. Shulkin said that the president’s order earlier this year — the Whistleblower Protection and Accountability Act — has already shown results. The law gives Mr. Shulkin more discretion on firing workers and protects those who report on problematic personnel.

“Since the President’s been in office, we’ve removed over 700 employees from the VA. In fact, I now publish on a weekly basis all of our disciplinary actions of firings or suspensions or demotions so that everyone can see and track our progress,” Mr. Shulkin said.

He added that such ability should be spread to other government agencies as well.

“I think every cabinet secretary wants to make sure that their workforce is accountable. And I think that that is something that should be looked at across government,” he said.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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