House Speaker John Boehner, commenting on the resignation today of the nation’s top veterans advocate, said President Barack Obama is ultimately responsible for the rampant problems in health care facilities run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “does not absolve the president of his responsibility to step in and make things right for our veterans,” Boehner said, adding:
Until the president outlines a vision and effective plan for addressing the broad dysfunction at the VA, today’s announcement changes nothing.
As a first step to address a broader problem, the Ohio Republican told reporters, the Senate should consider the House-approved VA Management Accountability Act, designed to give the secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to remove and replace executives who fail to perform. The Senate delayed action on its own version of the measure just days before Memorial Day, as The Foundry reported last week.
A preliminary report released Wednesday by the VA’s inspector general revealed officials at the department’s hospitals had manipulated waiting lists to cover up delays in scheduling appointments for military veterans seeking medical treatment.
Concerned Veterans for America, a group pushing for VA reforms, is devoting more than $500,000 to an ad campaign aimed at convincing Senate Democrats to consider the bipartisan bill, Fox News reported.