Statement from Senator Dean Heller (R-NV):
“I have great respect for Secretary Shinseki’s service to our country. As a soldier and as a public servant in civilian life, he has dedicated his life to this great nation. However, as the VA has continued to operate on a 1940s system in the 21st century, problems plaguing the Department are far too serious to ignore. Veterans in Nevada and across the country deserve the best our nation has to offer, and they are entitled to a VA system that delivers the benefits that they earned. To date, the VA has not met this standard.
"Moving forward, we need to focus on restoring veterans' confidence in the VA system. Regardless of who replaces Secretary Shinseki, the issues throughout the VA will not go away without a dedicated and unrelenting approach to fixing them. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to address issues such as the crippling backlog in benefits claims, veterans' access to the services they need, and quality care across-the-board."
Statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):
“Eric Shinseki has served our country for decades, on the battlefield, as Chief of Staff for the United States Army and as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He is a good man and should be commended for his admirable service. The VA has fired senior officials at the Phoenix facility and has pledged to personally contact every veteran in Phoenix waiting for appointments. This is a good first step. It is now time to restore veterans’ trust in the reliability of the care they are receiving from the VA. I will do everything I can to ensure that the Congress works to address the root causes of these systematic problems so that the men and women returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and those veterans already in the VA system, receive the care they deserve.”
WASHINGTON (AP) - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned amid widespread troubles in the VA health care system.
President Barack Obama says he accepted the resignation with "considerable regret." He and Shinseki met in the Oval Office on Friday morning.
Shinseki had faced mounting calls to step down from lawmakers in both parties.
Shinseki's resignation comes two days after a scathing internal report found broad and deep-seated problems in the sprawling health care system. The system provides care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.
Shinseki is a retired four-star Army general who has overseen the VA since the start of Obama's presidency.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the man he's chosen to run the Veterans Affairs Department on an interim basis will have a learning curve to overcome.
Sloan Gibson is currently the department's deputy secretary but he's been at the department for less than four months.
Gibson came to the VA after five years as president and CEO of the USO.
That nonprofit organization serves U.S. troops and their families. Before that, Gibson spent 20 years in the banking industry.
He is the son of an Army Air Corpsman who served in World War II and the grandson of a World War I Army infantryman.
He's also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Gibson replaces VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned Friday.
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