NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The pressure is growing for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign following a scathing report alleging VA officials falsified key records.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday, Republicans lined up on Capitol Hill, hoping to push out Shinseki.
“Should Shinseki resign? Absolutely I believe he should,” said Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ).
A number of democrats are also calling for the ouster of President Obama’s VA chief.
The scandal is centered in Arizona, where a preliminary VA inspector general’s report found 1,700 veterans at the VA Hospital in Phoenix were not put on the official wait list after requesting an appointment.
Two hundred and twenty six veterans who did get appointments waited 115 days, not the 24 days the hospital reported.
The investigation has now expanded to 42 facilities where scheduling managers may have manipulated wait times in order to boost pay and bonuses, Aiello reported.
“If they indeed did maintain secret lists, besides getting fired, they should go to jail,” said Rep. Salmon.
Some in Congress, however, said forcing Shinseki out isn’t the answer.
“Is him resigning going to get us to the bottom of the problem? And the answer I keep getting is no,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
Shinseki has the support of some veterans and for now, he also has the support of the president.
“The president wants to see the results of these reports. And he, as you know, made very clear that he believes there ought to be accountability once we’ve established all of the facts,” Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.
As for the Tri-State area, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel said he visited the VA Hospital in Northport on Friday and vets were generally satisfied, Aiello reported.
U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney said he’s meeting with a local VA chief on Monday. His office said a vets advisory group has not raised wait times as a major issue.
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