May 30, 2014

Begich & Pryor Refused To Call For Shinseki Ouster

This morning, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki offered his resignation to President Obama. The resignation came after more than 100 members of Congress in both parties called for Shinseki to step down, in light of the growing problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Two Democrat Senators up for re-election in 2014 who did not find enough evidence in the Inspector General’s report to call for Shinseki’s ouster: Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mark Pryor (D-AR).

Just yesterday, Pryor said he was still “not yet” ready to call for Shinseki to resign from the VA. Why? Evidently the tragedy in Phoenix in which 40 veterans died while waiting for care on a secret waiting list was not enough for Pryor, who said:

“I want to see how widespread this is. I want to see what is going on there. I want to get inside the numbers a little bit, not just the big top line number.”

Also yesterday, Begich held a press conference, specifically about veterans’ issues. When asked if Shinseki should resign, the AP reports Begich was “reserving judgment.”

It’s not clear what these senators were looking for, but what is clear is that they failed to stand up for the thousands of veterans in their states.