The pressure on U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is growing louder and stronger as the scandal surrounding falsified records and secret waiting lists at VA hospitals continues to grow. And now, it's coming from here in Texas. SenatorJohn Cornyn(R-TX) is now calling on Shinseki to resign because of the chaos and disarray in the VA. The American Legion originally called on Shinseki to resign earlier this week over the VA hospital scandal. "I agree with the American Legion that General Shinseki's time as Secretary of Veterans Affairs has come to an end, and he needs to step down," Cornyn told a brief news conference in Washington, D.C. "The President needs to find a new leader to lead this organization out of the wilderness, and back to providing the service our veterans deserve."
The criticism surrounding the VA centers on a recent Congressional report that found as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment after they were placed on a secret waiting list at the VA hospital in Phoenix. Three officials from that hospital have been placed on leave. Similar reports have since come out of the VA clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. The "secret" list was reportedly set up to mask the long wait times of patients and make it appear as though the hospital's backlog was much smaller than it actually was. "You've seen like I have the stories in Phoenix, Fort Collins and around the country, where veterans are being denied the healthcare and services they have earned by virtue of their service," said Cornyn.
In addition to calling on President Obama to replace Shinseki, Sen. Cornyn also wants a full investigation. "We need a point person, appointed by the White House, to get to the bottom of this, and we need the Majority Leader to hold emergency committee meetings to get to the bottom of this and to stop it, as soon as possible," Cornyn told reporters. On Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the President retains confidence in Shinseki, but that the administration takes the allegations seriously. Sen. Cornyn wondered just how seriously during his news conference. "I wish the White House, instead of traveling around the country talking about the urgency of climate change, would talk with equal urgency about this failure of leadership and incompetence at the VA," said Cornyn.