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Sen. Heitkamp confident in new VA secretary pick

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she thinks Robert McDonald will bring a new outlook as secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

McDonald was confirmed Tuesday by a vote of 97-0.

Heitkamp says the job will be tough because McDonald will have to restore the public's trust in the VA after the recent scandal. But she says his experience in the military and as a CEO of a global company will renew transparency, accountability and reforms within the VA.

She met with McDonald last week to discuss how he would reform the VA, restore trust and focus on reaching out to veterans in rural areas. Heitkamp said he promised to work with her to improve access to services and benefits for North Dakota veterans, including Native Americans.

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