Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned under pressure on Friday, according to a Fox News report on the same day. The resignation is expected to be followed by other Veterans Affairs managers leaving their jobs. According to an announcement by President Barack Obama, Secretary Shinseki knew he had to go.
President Obama stood before reporters after meeting with Shinseki for 45 minutes in a highly-publicized meeting on Friday. Obama claims that Shinseki, who is a retired Army general, told him that the Veterans Affairs department needs new leadership. He said that the new leadership is necessary to address the growing problems that have arisen in the most recent reports this week regarding failings of the governmental agency. Shinseki told Obama that he does not want to be a distraction to fixing the problem – as he has definitely been in recent weeks.
The president went on to say he agrees with Shinseki’s decision to step down. Obama said he agrees with Shinseki’s judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans that the Obama administration does not have time for distractions – as the problems need to be fixed. The resignation is a welcome move to many of Washington, D.C.’s outspoken members of the United States Congress who have been shouting for the resignation. The calls for his resignation were bipartisan as both Republicans and Democrats demanded his ouster since the latest Obama scandal arose.
Additionally, veterans’ advocacy groups have been calling for Shinseki’s resignation since CNN began reporting the many problems with the Veterans Affairs facilities in the United States over the past half-year. Last November, CNN began reporting on concerns over veterans’ hospitals including patients not being cared for in a timely manner. Those concerns exploded within the past month when there were revelations of unacceptable wait periods for patients to be seen at hospitals. Additionally, the documentation on the findings appeared to have been skewed to keep the problems from the public.