Growing Bipartisan Chorus Demands Resignation of V.A. Chief Shinseki


As the scandal over extensive waiting periods and other botched services at Veterans Affairs (V.A.) hospitals continues to grow, V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki is facing a bipartisan wave calling for his resignation or dismissal. Although the embattled V.A. head initially enjoyed the support of leading politicians on Capitol Hill, his list of allies is shrinking daily as new revelations about the V.A. scandal come to light. At this point, it appears Shinseki's career is not long for this world. The vultures are circling.

Here's what lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are saying about the fate of the V.A. chief.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.): "The Inspector General's report is so troubling that I have come to the conclusion that the Department of Veterans Affairs needs new leadership. I believe it would be in the best interest of veterans for Secretary Shinseki to step down."

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.): "Sec. Shinseki must step down."

Sen. John Walsh (D-Montana): "The Inspector General's report confirms the worst of the allegations against the VA and its failure to deliver timely care to veterans. It is time for President Obama to remove Secretary Shinseki from office."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): "It's time for Secretary Shinseki to step down." If he won't, McCain added, "then I call on the president of the United States to relieve him of his duties, fire him."

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.): "For too long the VA has been steeped in complacency and mismanagement—that has to end today and the change must begin at the top…. Secretary Shinseki should resign immediately or President Obama should ask him to leave."

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.): "Shinseki—in both word and deed—appears completely oblivious to the severity of the health care challenges facing the department."

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee: "It would be best if General Shinseki stepped down as Secretary, both as an example for other V.A. leaders and to lay the groundwork for new leadership to meet with success."

Related from Reason TV: "Is Government Bureaucracy Failing Our Veterans?"