Washington, D.C. – In light of the Veterans Affairs (VA) inspector general’s latest report, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Senate’s original sponsor of S. 2013, the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014, issued a statement today calling for Secretary Shinseki’s resignation, while urging the Senate to respond to the systemic problems at the VA with meaningful, common sense reform.
“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.
“Fifty senators, including five Democrats, have now signaled their support for common sense legislation that the Senate could pass and send to the President as early as next week. This is the same legislation that passed the House 390-33, with 162 Democrats voting in favor. This legislation would bring basic accountability to the VA and ensure the people responsible for the gross negligence and mistreatment of our nation’s heroes are punished. I hope more Senate Democrats will join Republicans in sponsoring this measure and insist that Democratic leadership drop their obstruction to this common sense legislation.”