Griffin: Shinseki Resignation Is a Key Step Toward Accountability and Bold Reform

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement regarding the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki:

“On May 12, I called for Secretary Shinseki’s resignation, and I welcome today’s announcement as a key step toward accountability and bold reform. Make no mistake, a new leader alone won’t cure what ails the VA; the only cure is bold, innovative reform that will undoubtedly receive massive resistance from entrenched defenders of the status quo. But, the best interests of veterans must prevail. Many veterans and their families have already suffered too much, and it is essential that we reform this bureaucracy to ensure our veterans receive the treatment they need, have earned and deserve. Whatever is best for our veterans – not the federal bureaucracy – should be our priority. The VA has the budget and authority to provide our veterans with the best care, regardless of whether it is at a government or private hospital. I am committed to working with my colleagues to enact effective reforms to ensure mistreatment of our veterans never happens again and to keep our nation’s promise to take care of America’s heroes.”

On May 12, 2014, Rep. Griffin sent a letter to President Obama calling for the resignations at the VA of Secretary Eric Shinseki, Under Secretary for Health Robert Petzel, and Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey. Full text of the letter can be found here.

Reports show that wait times for veterans’ appointments were manipulated at more than 60 percent of the Department of Veterans Affairs health facilities investigated in a new internal audit released by the agency.

According to Reuters, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ internal watchdog is probing manipulation of appointment data at 42 VA medical centers, up from 26 last week, amid allegations of secret waiting lists.