Line of Pols Calling on Shinseki to Resign Continues to Grow

Image: Line of Pols Calling on Shinseki to Resign Continues to Grow

Thursday, 29 May 2014 04:55 PM

By John A. Oswald

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Twenty-two members of Congress are now on record asking Gen. Eric Shinski to resign or be fired from his job heading the Department of Veterans Affairs. Democrats outnumber Republicans as of Thursday on a running list being updated by Mediaite.

A sampling of the six Democratic and two GOP senators includes:
  • Colorado's Mark Udall, the sitting two-term Democrat and Senate Armed Services Committee member who faces a tough re-election challenge from GOP Rep. Cory Gardner. He was the first Democrat to turn on Shinseki and his call came with a homestate bent: "We need new leadership who will demand accountability to fix these problems and ensure the VA is providing Coloradans the services they've earned."
  • John Walsh of Montana, who said that Shinseki needed to go because "America's veterans deserve an immediate end to the troubles plaguing the VA, and we must take urgent steps to secure the care they deserve."
  • Ariz. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, the only Republican senators on the list at the moment. The Phoenix VA has been hit especially had by allegation as many as 1,700 vets didn't even make to a waiting list for those needing care.

"I haven’t said this before, but I think it’s time for General Shinseki to — to move on," McCain told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday. “I have never detected such anger on the part of all of our citizens, but most of all, amongst our veterans, as I’m feeling here while being back here in Arizona.”

Over at the House, eight GOPers and six Democrats have given the general the thumbs down.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. gave this statement:

"General Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, has served his country with honor and integrity. No one doubts his dedication to our nation's veterans.... However, the current state of the VA is wholly unacceptable and has become a national embarrassment. I call on General Shinseki to do what is right and step aside as secretary effective immediately."

Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex) said: "As head of the VA, Secretary Shinseki bears ultimate responsibility for any misconduct at the department during his tenure. Today's interim report from the Inspector General confirms that the problems of neglect and mistreatment are worse than the initial allegations that shocked the nation. While I appreciate General Shinseki's years of military service to this nation, there must be accountability.

Hensarling in recent weeks has been gaining support for a possible challenge to Ohio Republican John Boehner's speakership.

On Shinseki, Boehner says he's still deciding.

"I'm going to continue to reserve judgment on General Shinseki," Boehner said. "The question I ask myself is, is him resigning going to get us to the bottom of the problem, is it going to help us find out what is really going on? The answer is no."

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