VA Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns
President Barack Obama announced on Friday that he accepted the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in the wake of revelations of corrupt and dishonest practices at a VA medical center in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the most damning allegations was the claim that at least 40 veterans died while waiting for medical treatments. Following the exposé, a number of influential Members of Congress called for Shinseki’s resignation, including the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Republican Jeff Miller of Florida, and Democratic Ranking Member Mike Michaud of Maine. Many Democrats engaged in competitive congressional campaigns had also called for his ouster.
President Barack Obama said he accepted the resignation with “considerable regret”. Shinseki came to the conclusion “the he could not carry out the next stages of reform without being a distraction himself”, the President said. A couple hours following the President’s announcement, Speaker of the House John Boehner spoke about the resignation, arguing that the removal is insufficient to address problems at the VA. “One personnel change cannot be used as an excuse to paper over a systemic problem. Our veterans deserve better, we’ll hold the president accountable until he makes things right”, he said.
The VA’s Deputy Secretary, Sloan Gibson, will serve as the Acting Secretary until President nominates a permanent replacement and the Senate can vote for confirmation.
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