VA Ranking Member Mike Michaud Says It’s Time to Move Forward

May 29, 2014 Issues: Fighting for our Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME), Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released the following statement this evening:

“It is with a heavy heart that I call on Secretary Shinseki to step down as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.   Democrats and Republicans alike, in tandem with our Veteran Service Organizations and the millions of Americans who have served our nation, all want to get to the bottom of what exactly is broken with the VA system, and what we can do to fix it.  Instead, one man has become the focal point. It’s time to move forward.

“After the interim IG report was released yesterday, I had hoped that the VA would demonstrate its ability to take immediate and timely action on righting these wrongs and to fully comply with our requests for more information.  Unfortunately, upon thoughtful deliberation and reflection, I now have even more doubts about the VA’s ability to work with Congress to address this crisis.

“Eric Shinseki has dedicated his life to serving his country. Under his leadership, the VA has made impressive strides in helping to secure record increases in funding to ensure our veterans receive high-quality services, addressing veterans’ homelessness and ensuring veterans with service-related illnesses –like Agent Orange exposure – get the treatment they need.  But despite these successes, the systemic failures in our VA system are inexcusable and must be fixed immediately so that this never happens again.”