Woo-hoo! The seniors in the Senate just gave obnoxious freshman Mark Kirk a big job: a seat on the Appropriations Committee, and a post as ranking member of the veterans affairs subcommittee.
During the Senate campaign, Kirk was often criticized for exaggerating his military exploits. That was all part of his admiration for our soldiers, sailors and airmen. The other part is a genuine concern for their well-being once they leave the service. When Kirk was a congressman, consultants recommended closing the North Chicago VA Medical Center. Kirk came up with a solution: merge it with the clinic at Naval Station Great Lakes. Last fall marked the opening of the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Center, named for the Apollo 13 astronaut who owns a restaurant in Lake Forest.
Since joining the Senate, Kirk has visited VA hospitals in Danville and Marion.
“It is my hope that just as we worked with our veterans at home, our local VA officials and our locally elected officials in northern Illinois to save the North Chicago VA facility, we will continue to explore new avenues and execute new agreements to meet the current needs of our veterans both in Illinois and throughout the United States,” Kirk said in a press release.
Besides his Appropriations assignment, Kirk will be joining four other subcommittees: Department of State and Foreign Operations; Financial Services; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Labor, Health, Human Services and Education.