Called for criminal investigation into ongoing VA problems
WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) made the following statement after today’s release of the Inspector General (IG) interim report by the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding Veterans Health Affairs (VHA) wait times:
“I applaud Chairman Miller for joining with me and others in calling for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. While I have the utmost respect for Shinseki, the interim report from the IG confirms what I’ve been saying all along – we must do everything in our power to ensure our veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve and this isn’t happening under the leadership of Secretary Shinseki. Sadly today’s report only confirms what I’ve known to be true and I am now calling for a criminal investigation into the corruption plaguing the VA in an effort to find the cause of the systemic problems consuming this agency. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to give the VA the tools necessary to ensure our vets are protected from mismanagement by senior VA officials.”
Excerpts from the report include:
- “Allegations at the Phoenix HCS include gross mismanagement of VA resources and criminal misconduct by VA senior hospital leadership, creating systemic patient safety issues and possible wrongful deaths.”
- “The issues identified in current allegations are not new. Since 2005, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued 18 reports that identified, at both the national and local levels, deficiencies in scheduling resulting in lengthy waiting times and the negative impact on patient care.”
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller earlier today called for the resignation of Shinseki following the release of the interim report.
Last month, Walorski joined Speaker Boehner and fellow GOP lawmakers in supporting greater VA accountability. The bill, H.R. 4031 passed out of the House last week by a vote of 390-33 and now heads to the Senate for further action.
Two weeks ago, Walorski voted along with her fellow colleagues on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to subpoena documentation from Secretary Shinseki and eight other VA officials, related to the Phoenix VAMC.
Walorski joined the American Legion in calling for the resignation of Secretary Shinseki and wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to immediately ask for the resignation of Shinseki and Under Secretary Hickey.