- Boehner Holds Fire on VA Scandal
- June 2, 2014
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
While an ever-growing number of Democrats across the country are joining with Republicans in calling for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, one important GOP leader is keeping his powder dry. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-VA) has not yet called for Shinseki's resignation. "I'm going to continue to reserve judgment on Gen. Shinseki," Boehner said at a press conference on Thursday. "Is him resigning going to get us to the bottom of the problem? Is it going to help us find out what's really going on?" the speaker asked. "The answer I keep getting is no."
Boehner on Thursday shifted the blame to President Obama who, he said, ignored earlier reports from the Government Accountability Office about issues at Veterans Affairs.
Boehner has been relatively cautious about Shinseki's job security, even as many of his colleagues - including his own majority whip - have called on the secretary to step down. Last week, Boehner said he was moving "closer" to calling for Shinseki's resignation, and after the inspector general's preliminary report was released yesterday, the speaker's office said his position was unchanged.
But a huge wave of statements from members of both parties calling for a change of leadership at the VA have helped create a sense of momentum. On Wednesday, after the initial IG report found that veterans waited on average 115 days for care in the Phoenix health care system (as opposed to the recommended 14 days), Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sens. Mark Udall and John Walsh, among many others, said Shinseki should step down. More than a dozen Democrats in both chambers have now called for Shinseki's resignation.