Maj. Ladda “Tammy” Duckworth , entered Congress with the 2012 elections, as an (Illinois Democrat, District 8).
"Progressive" Cabinet "nominee"
- We asked that contributors weigh ideological and political considerations, with an eye toward recommending people who have both progressive credentials and at least an arguable chance at being appointed in an Obama White House.
- This group of people would represent at once the most progressive, aggressive and practical Cabinet in contemporary history. Of course, it is by no means a definitive list. It is merely one proposal aimed at starting a longer discussion about the very concept of a progressive Cabinet—and why it will be important to a new administration, especially if that administration is serious about change.
Luis Carlos Montalván suggested Tammy Duckworth for Secretary of Veterans Affairs:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the federal government’s second largest department (after defense). With an annual budget of more than $90 billion, the VA employs more than 230,000 people at hundreds of VA medical centers, clinics and benefits offices that assist many of the 60 million U.S. veterans and their families.
- But the Bush administration has woefully mismanaged the department, which is suffering from overcrowded facilities, lengthy waiting lists and a backlog of disability claims. The present state of affairs is the result of poor leadership and a failure to anticipate and allocate the requisite funding to support the needs of an escalating veteran population.
- According to Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, “The number of disability claims exceeds 600,000, with another 1.6 million claims expected in the next two years.” Overcrowded VA mental health facilities cannot provide comprehensive care to the hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Not surprisingly, the suicide rate among veterans and service members is the highest it has ever been.
- Maj. Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee pilot of the Iraq War, has the character and credentials to serve as our nation’s secretary of veterans affairs. Her years of distinguished military service and her firsthand knowledge of the VA system — she has served as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs since 2006 — would serve her well.
- Duckworth is the best choice to deliver what millions of veterans need — and have failed to receive from the current administration.