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Republicans in Congress Not Happy With VA Secretary McDonald

By    |   Monday, 04 May 2015 07:19 PM

Relations between Republican lawmakers and VA Secretary Robert McDonald are turning sour, with the latest letter to McDonald containing a blunt reminder of the forced resignation of his predecessor Eric Shinseki, Stars and Stripes reports.

"This committee exposed the department’s delays-in-care scandal at an April 9, 2014, congressional hearing, setting in motion a sequence of events that essentially forced the resignation of your predecessor and led to you becoming secretary," begins a letter sent last Friday from Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller, who heads the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Stars and Stripes notes the letter came in response to McDonald's own letter of protest to a threatened subpoena of records relating to the problem-plagued Philadelphia VA Regional Office.

Miller's committee voted to issue the subpoena anyway last Thursday; a day earlier Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., had subpoenaed documents from an investigation into the Tomah VA Medical Center.

"Contrary to the assertions in your letter, it is the VA’s actions to stonewall this committee — actions that began long before your tenure as Secretary, and continue to occur today — which has eroded the confidence of veterans and the American people in our ability to work together," Miller wrote in the Friday letter obtained by Stars and Stripes.

McDonald was appointed VA secretary last July to clean up the scandal-scarred department.

A VA spokesman told Stars and Stripes the department "will continue to work in good faith with our partners to serve the needs of veterans" – but took its own shot at Congress.

"Oversight and healthy criticism certainly has its place to help spur improvements," the spokesman said. "However, recent actions by the majority on the House committee are undermining genuine efforts to better serve veterans."

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Relations between Republican lawmakers and VA Secretary Robert McDonald are turning sour, with the latest letter to McDonald containing a blunt reminder of the forced resignation of his predecessor Eric Shinseki, Stars and Stripes reports.
VA, Republicans, Congress, unhappy, veterans, affairs, secretary, Robert McDonald
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2015-19-04
Monday, 04 May 2015 07:19 PM
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