“There is no excuse for the botched care of America’s 23 million veterans. Now, our veterans are dying because of mismanagement at the VA under Secretary Eric Shinseki, Under Secretary Robert Petzel, and Under Secretary Allison Hickey. Nowhere else in the country would this lack of accountability and transparency be allowed,” Walorski said. “Our country is demanding answers about why the VA allegedly destroyed millions of records, which may have resulted in the deaths of 40 veterans in Phoenix. This kind of action should not be tolerated, and we must hold those involved responsible, including Secretary Shinseki. It’s a disgrace to allow this kind of treatment for the men and women who swore to protect this country, yet we refuse to protect them in return.”
The full text of the letter is below:
May 12, 2014
Dear President Obama,
We are writing today to urge you to request the immediate resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki, Under Secretary Robert Petzel, and Under Secretary Allison Hickey.
Recent revelations about avoidable patient deaths, delayed treatments, falsified records, secret waiting lists, and cancelled appointments, coupled with systemic IT security failures, project cost overruns, and a backlog that has more than doubled since 2009, clearly demonstrate widespread incompetence and a lack of transparency within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Accountability must come from the top. Enough is enough. We expect more from the public servants assigned to oversee the care of our veterans. It is unconscionable that our nation’s heroes have lost their lives due to negligence within the agency tasked with serving and protecting them. Our veterans deserve better.
As we continue to investigate these matters as part of our congressional oversight duties, we are committed to identifying and correcting the many issues within the Department of Veterans Affairs and holding accountable all those involved in the recent scandals.
We urge you to join us in our commitment to bringing transparency and accountability to the VA and request the immediate resignation of Secretary Shinseki, Under Secretary Petzel, and Under Secretary Hickey. We must send a clear message to the American people that failure to protect our veterans will not be tolerated.
Member of Congress