Two Democratic congressmen became the first members of their party to call for Veterans Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation shortly after President Obama’s meeting with the embattled department head. While speaking on the House floor about a bill he co-sponsored to make it easier to fire VA officials, Representative David Scott of Georgia offered a passionate plea to address the problem and called for Shinseki’s ouster.
”The first person we need to fire is the secretary of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Shinseki himself,” Scott said. ”I respect his sacrifice, I respect what he did, but it’s under his watch that we’re in this situation in the hospitals.”
Scott detailed a visit to a local veterans hospital where patients were committing suicide, and accused VA officials of lying to him and covering up another incident that was later exposed.
He also said that he was “disappointed” in President Obama for his lack of urgency in addressing the situation, especially in light of the president’s remarks following his meeting with Shinseki.
“We don’t have time for anymore investigations — the reports are in!” Scott said.
Meanwhile, Scott’s fellow Georgian John Barrow also said Shinseki should no longer hold his position since he and the rest of the administration have “fallen short in providing the kind of care our veterans have earned.”
“Secretary Shinseki deserves the utmost respect for his service, but it’s time for someone new to get to the bottom of what’s happened on his watch,” Barrow, who serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs committee, said in a statement on Wednesday.