05.30.14

Senator Burr Releases Statement on Secretary Shinseki's Resignation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, released the following statement following news of Secretary Shinseki's resignation from the Department of Veterans Affairs:

"I know this was a difficult decision for a decorated veteran. Secretary Shinseki built a career on tackling the tough challenges placed in front of him, and I thank him for his long and distinguished service to our nation. However, it was the right decision, as new leadership was needed at the agency. Along with new leadership, Congress must act to empower veterans facing unacceptable wait times at the VA with choice."

"It must be reiterated that this problem is not about Phoenix but about the entire VA system and this one resignation will not solve the problem. This is not new, not contained within one facility, and not just about secret waitlists. We have a long, well documented history of reports from Inspector General, Government Accountability Office, and the Medical Inspector about the disturbing problems within the Department. The steps that have been taken by Secretary Shinseki to freeze bonuses and fire individuals at the Phoenix facility has done nothing to address the other 41 facilities currently under active investigation."

"I look forward to working with Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson in his efforts to chart a new course for this troubled agency, and put it to work for all veterans."