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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. Jeff Miller stops short of calling for VA chief to resign

Florida Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, is stopping short of echoing calls for the resination of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

"It's a story of poor oversight and failed leadership," American Legion Commander Daniel Dellinger said Monday  "This is the most difficult thing I've ever had to do."

The VA has come under fire for poor health care and some deaths at its facilities. (Background here) Miller has been a vocal critic but held back from calling for Shinseki to step down.

“Make no mistake. There is a crisis of confidence with VA’s top leadership, and the American Legion’s calls for the resignations of the department’s top leaders should be sending shock waves through the White House," Miller said in a statement. "I have the utmost respect for Commander Dellinger’s opinion, and while I am going to wait until VA’s inspector general releases its report on the situation in Phoenix before deciding to call for any personnel changes, this much is clear: for nearly a year, we have been pleading with top department leaders and President Obama to take immediate steps to stop the growing pattern of preventable veteran deaths and hold accountable any and all VA employees who have allowed patients to slip through the cracks.

"In response, we’ve received disturbing silence from the White House and one excuse after another from VA. Right now, President Obama and Sec. Shinseki are faced with a stark choice: take immediate action to help us end the culture of complacency that is engulfing the Veterans Health Administration and compromising patient safety, or explain to the American people and America’s veterans why we should tolerate the status quo.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 10:28am]

    

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