The confirmation hearing of President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs was postponed Tuesday amid allegations against him including improper prescribing of drugs and alcohol use on the job.
Sen. Jon Tester, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, is reviewing allegations that Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, M.D., fostered a "hostile work environment," CBS News reported on Monday evening.
Among the accusations, cited to current or former White House medical staff, were allegations of "excessive drinking on the job" and "improperly dispensing meds." Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told NPR on Tuesday morning they are "serious" but "unsubstantiated allegations."
Officials announced Tuesday they would delay Jackson's confirmation hearing which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, The New York Times reported.
Jackson, who is the White House physician, was nominated for the role after Trump announced on Twitter that VA Secretary David Shulkin, M.D., would no longer lead the agency.
Shulkin was embroiled in controversy following a VA Office of Inspector General report that detailed how he spent taxpayer money on a recent trip to Europe with his wife. Trump nominated Jackson as a permanent replacement for Shulkin, and that Robert Wilkie of the Department of Defense will serve as acting secretary in the interim.
Jackson's selection was met with plenty of skepticism from Democrats who have questioned his qualifications to lead such a large federal agency and his ability to fight off conservative efforts to outsource more military healthcare options.
In a bid to address some of their concerns, Jackson recently met with multiple lawmakers to assure them he would oppose efforts to privatize the military's healthcare system.