President Barack Obama can be blamed for some of the Veterans Administration healthcare scandal but not all of it, says Brent Budowsky, a columnist for The Hill.
"It is an Obama problem, but it's also a broader problem, too. He takes as commander in chief and chief executive the major share of responsibility," Budowsky told Dennis Kneale, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"But I think that Congress, which takes a lot of recesses and vacations and doesn't always do their job well, they share responsibility, and to some degree we all do," he said Tuesday.
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Earlier this month, reports emerged that a secret waiting list for chronically ill veterans at a Phoenix VA facility had caused as many as 40 deaths. The practice was also allegedly covered up.
"I think the Pope would say it all gets back to original sin . . . When you put people, human beings, in a giant bureaucracy of any kind, private as well as public but especially public, there are going to be people who don't do their job well," Budowsky said.
"Now, there are many good and wonderful people at the VA . . . but there are people there that Obama did not manage, [that] he did not follow up on.
"[Gen. Eric] Shinseki, [the secretary of Veterans Affairs], who meant well and is a good man and a great man, did not manage well.''
Budowsky said Congress should have provided more money for veterans' programs, which were overloaded after a decade of wars.
"Two bad wars in terms of the damage to troops, [and] Congress and presidents, Democrat and Republican, for many years did not provide the body armor and the [support] for the troops, and they should have," Budowsky said.
"I blame President Obama for not following through. To some degree President [George W.] Bush could have done a better job on this. Congress sure as heck could have done a better job on this."
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