• October 21, 2014

Senators call for VA secretary to resign

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Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 11:31 pm

WASHINGTON — Three Senate Republicans called Tuesday for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, following allegations of corruption and avoidable deaths at a veterans’ hospital in Phoenix.

The Senate’s Republican leader, meanwhile, said a leadership change may help resolve what he calls “dysfunction” at the VA.

“It’s certainly been an embarrassing period for the VA,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday after a closed party caucus. “It’s been a stunning period of dysfunction.”

McConnell stopped short of calling for Shinseki to step down, but said, “A change in leadership might be a good step in the right direction.”

McConnell’s comments came as three Republican senators — John Cornyn of Texas, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Richard Burr of North Carolina — called for Shinseki to resign amid claims that up to 40 patients in Phoenix may have died because of delays in care. Burr is the senior Republican on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that Obama retains confidence in Shinseki.

The White House takes the allegations about the Phoenix hospital “very seriously,” Carney said, noting that Obama has directed Shinseki and the department’s inspector general to investigate the Phoenix deaths.

The Phoenix hospital has been under fire over allegations that up to 40 patients may have died because of delays in care and that the hospital kept a secret list of patients waiting for appointments to hide the treatment delays.

Shinseki announced last week that three officials there have been placed on leave.

The VA has acknowledged that 23 patients died as a result of delayed care in recent years.

The VA’s Office of Medical Inspector said clerks at a Fort Collins, Colorado, clinic were instructed last year on how to falsify appointment records. Other problems have occurred in Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.

“There needs to be a change, and that change needs to occur at the top,” American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger said Monday.

The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars disagreed with the calls for Shinseki to resign.

Still, VFW leader William Thien said it was “paramount that Secretary Shinseki get publicly in front of this immediately to address the valid concerns of veterans and their families, and to re-establish the credibility of the entire VA health and benefits systems, and that of his own office.”

VA spokesman Drew Brookie said Shinseki, a former Army chief of staff who served in Vietnam and Iraq, has dedicated his life to his fellow veterans.

“Nobody is more committed to completing the work that lies ahead,” Brookie said.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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1 comment:

  • JimS posted at 4:37 am on Fri, May 9, 2014.

    JimS Posts: 10

    The same lawmakers now subpoening, and with their flag waving patriots(?) supporting, that rubber stamped the two wars, and all related, costs off the books and on the credit card, quickly abandoning the missions and those sent after 9/11, while doing extremely little for not only the veterans of but also us previous veterans and from the decades and wars before, while once again under a conservative led VA, DeJa-Vu!!

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013
    WHY? GOOD QUESTION THOSE SERVED SHOULD ANSWER!

    Conservative Veterans Affairs Ideology, Fire Gen. Shinseki

    Just what the conservative, in this case the Always reactive and not proactive for vets, the legion, with their grossly over paid executives, ideology wants, Get rid of one that's doing the job and in this case with help from the entire cabinet, hired to do, just as the conservatives in congress want,

    "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    They were Jubilant when conservatives controlled congress and the bush fired the General for being Honest, now their call is being picked up through one of the so called established Veterans organization the American Legion! All were praising the VA during that time, of total conservative control, even though extremely little was being done as the long ignored veterans issues were still being ignored while two more wars, and long occupations from, were being rubber stamped as to costs, still unpaid for, and these younger veterans were joining our veterans community seeking the commitment the Country promises and the Country waved flags, and other symbols, of that 'patriotic' commitment only, DeJa-Vu all over again! Their long want is to privatize government agencies for corporate profit, much more costly, and unregulated running of, just like their national security wars!

    TX-19 Congressional Candidate Neal Marchbanks - Veteran: 28 March 2014 - "Congress controls the budget for the VA and it is the fault of Congress that the VA does not have enough employees and that the facilities are too small."
    Congress, in Veteran Marchbanks statement, are the people served and who representatives work for, or are supposed to!

    "12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility' {two tax cuts, especially huge for the wealthy, with not a bit of guilt conscious for, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again from the previous decades and wars from! Ignore the many issues, by those served, no need to fund!}

    USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent

     

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