In The News
April 25, 2023

Benjamin Krause |

Despite a hold, nominee for VA Undersecretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs will be confirmed Tuesday evening in a cloture vote.

But once the celebration is over, it could be that Jacobs requires a similar ethics hall pass to that of Kurt DelBene, VA’s current Chief Information Officer, albeit for slightly different reasons.

The nomination for the next Undersecretary for Benefits was on hold due to evasive answers provided by Jacobs to questions posed by Sen. Chuck Grassley last month. The hold followed years of evasive answers from the agency, and Jacobs inherited the mess.

Jason Foster On Confirmation, Or, #Winning

Jason Foster, former chief investigative counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Grassley, seems to suspect Joshua Jacobs smooth glide through confirmation is less about credentials and more about who you know, or knew, as is the situation is.

Foster noted Jacobs’ prior service on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs under Sen. Patty Murray one decade ago linking to a recent Senator’s tweet:

You may wonder what the magic sauce is that helped catapult Jacobs to such a stellar position as a nonveteran, non-business genius?

I am not sure of the answer (probably “no”), but enough Senators are confident he’s the right choice.

But it if you ask Jason Foster, it may have to do with reading between the lines of Senator Murray’s tweet from February 16, 2023. Who you know still matters for politicos.

Jason Foster already noted the current trend to omit challenging questions and “evasive answers” from Jacobs during the confirmation process. Why is the Senate throwing softballs at Jacobs right now? Is he really still the good ole boy who ran the Senate’s Veterans Committee who worked at the Senate until 2013?

From 2013 to 2017, Jacobs was the senior advisor to two VA secretaries in the middle of some of the worst scandals in modern US history. Former Rep. Jeff Miller called VA the most corrupt agency in the federal government at the time Jacobs was a senior advisor. Is it too far of a stretch to conclude Jacobs was either giving horrible advice, ineffective, or in on it?

Will the Senate even hold their wunderkind accountable if scandals like those circa 2014 happen again? The Senate deep-sixed Sen. Grassley’s challenging questions and Jacobs’ evasive answers from the official transcript per Jason Foster.