Rep. Hastings & Sen. Murray Call for VA Reforms
Fourth District congressman Doc Hastings is not calling for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, for his handling of the VA scandal. However, Hastings did vote for a bill that makes it easier to hold senior leaders at the VA accountable for their poor job performance.
On Wednesday, the House, by a bipartisan vote of 390-33, passed the VA Management Accountability Act, legislation that Hastings co-sponsored. Specifically, the bill gives the VA Secretary authority to dismiss senior executives or demote them and require notification to Congress of such a firing or demotion within 30 days. Hastings says
"Our veterans deserve better than the gross mismanagement and unacceptable treatment they’ve received by the Obama Administration. More must be done to protect America’s heroes and their families to ensure they receive the quality health care they deserve for protecting our nation and our freedoms. If you were to make a similar situation like this in the private sector and something like this was found out that was analogous to withholding information from customers or shareholders, that individual would be fired. Yet with the VA scandal, no one has been fired."
Meanwhile Washington Senator Patty Murray continued her push for action at the VA during the Senate Appropriations Committee’s first Full Committee Markup of the year. During consideration of the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs Appropriations bill, Murray reiterated her call for decisive, transparent action from the Department of Veterans Affairs to address the deep, system-wide problems when it comes to health care wait times.
“The VA and the Department generally offers very high quality health care—but it is really disappointing that the Department has failed to address wait times for that care.
I was glad to see President Obama weigh in on this issue yesterday, but these recent allegations are not new issues – they are deep, system-wide problems, and they do grow more concerning every day. We should not be waiting to take action.
The lack of transparency and the lack of accountability are inexcusable and cannot continue to be allowed. "
Murray is also not calling for General Shinseki's resignation.