McConnell on VA Secretary Shinseki: 'Time for him to go'

05/23/2014 02:35 PM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said for the first time Friday that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should clean house in its leadership, which includes Secretary Eric Shinseki.

McConnell, responding to a question from Pure Politics at a news conference, said the agency needs more than just Shinseki to step down in the wake of a scandal over falsifying of data to hide long waits for many veterans to get health care.

“Obviously Secretary Shinseki has not done a good job, but it’s deeper than just him. I think it’d be time for him to go as well, but it has to get below the secretary,” McConnell said in response to the question.

McConnell has been calling on the Obama Administration for stronger leadership on the issue, but has stopped short on calling for Shinseki’s resignation.

McConnell’s Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, called for Shinseki’s resignation on Thursday

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul recommended that veterans who are stuck in the log-jam that is the V.A. should be given vouchers and let the patients go to private physicians. And he said that prosecution should be the answer for those defrauding the taxpayers.

“If anybody has falsified anything…they need to not only be fired, but prosecuted,” Paul said.

President Barack Obama announced a review of the breakdowns with the VA, according to CNN , which has been highlighting problems in agency this spring.

On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a V.A. reform bill, but McConnell said Reid wouldn’t move on the bill when U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tried to introduce it on Thursday in the Senate.

McConnell and Paul called the press event to promote the unification of the Republican party after the primary election on Tuesday, but the event afforded statewide reporters to ask about some pressing issues for the nation.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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