Nolan calls on VA secretary to resign
Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., Friday called on Veterans Administration Secretary Erik Shinseki to resign his post. Nolan further urged House Speaker John Boehner to establish a House Select Committee to conduct a swift and immediate probe into allegations of mismanagement, fraud and abuse at the agency charged with caring for the nation’s veterans and their families.
“Secretary Shinseki should resign his post now,” Nolan continued in a statement. “It’s the right thing to do in light of the systemic, chronic and shameful mismanagement of the care of our nation’s heroes. These issues did not begin with Secretary Shinseki, but he’s had six years to fix the problems that plague this agency, and it’s highly unlikely that any more time will make a difference. The VA requires a new leadership team with a fresh perspective and a total commitment to our veterans and their families.
“Along with the Secretary’s resignation, I call on Speaker Boehner to establish a new House Select Committee to conduct a bipartisan, impartial, and thorough investigation into the entire range of problems that plague the Veterans Administration — from terribly long travel times and access to care in rural areas, to the outrageous backlog in servicing disability claims from Washington, to delays and fraudulent appointment schedules that may have contributed to the deaths of veterans in Phoenix and elsewhere.
“It is also important to note and understand that these issues and many others at the VA stem not only from terrible management — but from lack of funding and resources to deal with the dramatic increase in disability claims stemming from 13 years of war.
“In light of the increased need for treatment of dramatic disabilities arising from Agent Orange in Vietnam to the terrible and traumatic injuries veterans have sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan, I find it somewhat disingenuous that many of the same Republicans who voted down our measure to double the number of personnel necessary to alleviate the backlog in disability claims are now shouting the loudest about the failure to address that same backlog.
“It’s reminiscent of how they shut down the government and then complained about the national parks being closed,” Nolan added.