WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a potential presidential candidate, joined in the growing chorus of lawmakers who are demanding the resignation of the leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has been under fire for an emerging scandal of manipulated wait times for appointments at VA hospitals around the country. While the White House and the VA say they are investigating the matter, an interim report from the department’s inspector general, released Wednesday, detailed significant problems in the VA’s handling of its patient appointments.
Rubio, who is pushing a VA accountability bill in the Senate, said in a statement:
“The inspector general’s report not only confirmed our worst fears about rampant mismanagement and institutional neglect at the VA, it also revealed the problem is even worse than we thought. In light of the report, it is clear now that Secretary Shinseki should tender his resignation to the President, and President Obama should accept it. But Secretary Shinseki should not shoulder the blame alone. Current law prohibits Secretary Shinseki – and whoever might succeed him – from firing the very people that the inspector general found responsible for the ‘daily mismanagement, inappropriate hiring decisions, sexual harassment, and bullying behavior’ that contributed to the shameful conditions throughout the VA system.”