WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is considering an Army veteran who is a Republican member of Congress for the position of Veterans Affairs secretary, according to an AP source, part of a lengthening search for a nominee following the abrupt firing of David Shulkin in March.
A White House official on Thursday said Rep. Brian Mast of Florida, who was elected to the House in 2016, was among the list of candidates for the job heading an agency of 360,000 employees serving 9 million veterans.
The White House official would not say if Mast is the leading candidate for the VA position. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Mast is the first member of Congress to open a lawmaker satellite office in a VA facility, setting up shop in the West Palm Beach VA to meet with veterans. He was wounded when serving in Afghanistan in 2010, which resulted in the amputation of both of his legs.
Mast, 37, has often voted along with Trump on key issues in Congress, more recently announcing he supported an assault-weapons ban following the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Trump is seeking a