Representatives around the country are reacting to the news that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned. Here are some of the reactions from officials:
U.S. Rep. Gary Peters: "America's men and women in uniform are the bravest in the world, and our focus should always be on honoring their service by providing them with the benefits they have earned through selfless sacrifice and a commitment to their country. I called for Secretary Shinseki to resign because I felt that the Department needed new leadership to bring the reform and accountability necessary to get back to the only thing that matters – the health care of our nation's veterans. Our focus now needs to be on fixing these inexcusable problems and regaining the trust of our nation's veterans who deserve a functioning VA system worthy of their service and sacrifice."
Congressman John Dingell: "I strongly support recent actions to demand accountability of VA officials in part responsible for these shortcomings, but it is clear further action must be taken. It is my hope the ongoing inquiry and investigation will also help determine whether or not there has been adequate funding of the VA by the Congress. I trust that President Obama and Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson will take the necessary steps to see to it that the highest degree of integrity is returned to this department, so that a better level of trust is restored among our nation's heroes. Our government relies on a system of accountability from those in power, ordinary people given the extraordinary task of serving no cause greater than those who call this country home. As one of two remaining World War II veterans in Congress, it is my hope that all necessary actions are taken to ensure the absolute best care for my brothers and sisters who have defended our proud nation."
U.S. Rep. Candice S. Miller: "Retired U.S. Army General Eric Shinseki's patriotism and dedication to this nation, as well as our troops, is without question. For his outstanding service, I am extremely grateful. And, while I respect Shinseki's willingness to resign over the failures at the VA, the systemic problems and mismanagement that has clearly failed so many of our veterans cannot be solved with the resignation of one man."
Congressman Tim Walberg: "Veterans benefits are deserved and earned through service and sacrifice and it's important that both Republicans and Democrats work together to give these men and women the assistance and tools they need to be successful when they come home. It remains the right and honorable thing to do and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure our heroes are honored by the country they serve."
Congressman Fred Upton: "On Monday, we honored the millions of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Our soldiers are given the best training and resources for the battlefield – they deserve the best treatment and care when they return home. Recent revelations of veteran mistreatment and facility mismanagement are appalling and heads needed to roll. Secretary Shinseki has led an honorable and distinguished career in service to our country, but it is time for new leadership to tackle the longstanding problems facing the VA. To fix our broken VA system and provide personalized veteran care, there needs to be accountability at the VA."
Congressman Daniel Kildee: "While the failures at the VA are bigger than one person, Secretary Shinseki's resignation is appropriate given the chronic problems at the Veterans Health Administration. New leadership at the VA must lead to correct the failures and restore the trust of our veterans and the American people."
Congressman Bill Huizenga: "Our men and women in uniform deserve the best care available. It is clear from the Inspector General's interim report, as well as numerous other reports that our veterans are not receiving that level of care. General Shinseki has served our country in uniform with honor, however given the severity of the problems within the VA system, his resignation is an appropriate and necessary step. The bureaucracy within the VA has systematically failed our veterans. I hope the president will work with Congress in a constructive bipartisan manner to reform the VA in a way that ensures the care of our veterans is the top priority."
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