Amata Welcomes VA Secretary McDonough and Highlights Importance of VA Services

February 9, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata welcomed the swearing in of the 11th United States Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Denis McDonough, and highlighted the importance of VA issues to Veterans.

“I’m pleased VA leadership is in place, so that important work and decisions are not delayed,” said Congresswoman Amata. “These services are so necessary to our many Veterans in American Samoa or originally from American Samoa. Congratulations to Secretary McDonough, and welcome back into government. I’ve known him since 2015, and I look forward to working with him through our traditionally bipartisan efforts in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.”

File photo - Congresswoman Amata speaking with VA Secretary McDonough who was WH Chief of Staff at the time
(File photo) Congresswoman Amata speaking with Secretary McDonough, at the time White House Chief of Staff.


Secretary McDonough was sworn in today by Vice President Kamala Harris. His wife held the Bible, which belonged to his father, while their two sons were present, and their daughter was connected virtually. The ceremony was conducted in the Vice President’s ornate ceremonial room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is part of the White House grounds.

Secretary McDonough was nominated by President Biden, and approved by the U.S. Senate with a bipartisan majority of 87 Senators. He is the second non-veteran to serve in the role. His experience includes key advisory and leadership roles in President Obama’s administration, including White House Chief of Staff, and Deputy National Security Advisor. He has served as Chief of Staff for the National Security Council, and as a congressional staffer focused on foreign policy, including advising former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.