U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has joined a growing number of lawmakers calling for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in the wake of numerous controversies involving the VA.
“The gross failures at the VA are shocking and unacceptable, and the administration’s pending investigation must be thorough, prompt and transparent,” Ayotte, R-N.H., said Thursday in a statement. “While I respect Secretary Shinseki’s service to our country, it’s time for new leadership at the VA. Those found responsible for negligence, fraud, or other misconduct must be held fully accountable.”
In the last weeks, the VA was rocked by allegations that VA officials had doctored records regarding lengthy wait times for medical services and that veterans had died while waiting for medical care. During Shinseki’s tenure — he was confirmed as VA Secretary by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009 — the VA has also been criticized for veterans waiting for months to receive benefits.
While Republicans have called for Shinseki’s resignation, President Barack Obama on Wednesday defended his veterans policies and said he would wait for the results of an internal investigation before taking action.