The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee has written to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for an investigation into the ongoing VA scandal.
Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida told CNN's Wolf Blitzer
that he sent a letter to Holder Thursday morning and has previously publicly made the same call for the FBI and Justice Department to investigate long wait times and secret waiting lists that left many veterans untreated for months and led to the deaths of some.
The House also added an amendment to a funding bill Wednesday night that "plusses up" the FBI budget by $1 million to start the probe, Miller said.
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So far, Holder has been
"hands off" on the VA scandal, Miller said. "But I think the facts are too many now for them to be able to look the other way."
He said that since his committee's hearing on April 9 regarding wait times and deaths, the VA has "gone into a bunker mode," refusing to contact anyone in Congress. The little information his committee is getting, Miller said, is coming from "very low-level individuals."
Miller is among members of both parties calling for the resignation
of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who Miller says has ignored repeated warnings about the problem over several years.
Blitzer noted that if Shinseki is fired or resigns, Undersecretary Sloan Gibson would likely take over as acting secretary. Miller said he has known the former head of the USO for years, and he has organizational skills that could help the Department of Veterans Affairs resolve its current problems.
Still, Miller said, the real problem is a VA bureaucracy that sees itself as "more important than the veterans they serve."
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