West Virginia’s congressional delegation is speaking out about whether U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki should stay or be removed from his job given the recent controversy over VA medical centers.

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller said Friday Shinseki should stay on the job while U.S. House members Rep.Nick Rahall and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito said he should step down.


Sen. Rockefeller:

“I remain fully confident that Secretary Shinseki is the right person to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Under his leadership, the VA health care system has made tremendous progress – the backlog of pending claims has been halved, and millions of veterans continue to receive top quality care annually. And as a veteran himself who has made it his life’s work to defend our nation and care for our veterans, I know Secretary Shinseki is focused on improving the VA and will take swift action to address any instances of misconduct determined by the Inspector General.

“We must also recognize that the VA is facing major challenges because Congress has made the choice to underfund this agency, even as thousands of our troops continue to return home from Iraq and Afghanistan. We will never address the root of the problem, nor will we give the VA an opportunity to meet its obligations to our veterans, unless Congress makes the right decision to provide the VA with the resources it needs to provide health care for our veterans.”


Rep. Rahall:

“Secretary Shinseki has served with dignity and honor and his sacrifice has been great.   And, like vast numbers of our veterans, he continued to elect to serve our nation beyond his military career.  We owe him a tremendous debt.  But we also owe our veterans a system in which they can put their trust.  The challenges at the VA run much further than one person and replacing the Secretary will not solve them.  However, I believe that by stepping aside, Secretary Shinseki will help to restore the trust our veterans must have in the VA and will demonstrate a commitment by this Administration to address the system’s serious shortcomings.”


Rep. Capito:

“It has become exceedingly clear that the top leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs is incapable of managing this troubled agency and ensuring that our veterans are receiving the services they desperately need. West Virginia’s veterans deserve to know that the Department of Veterans Affairs will be there for them, and increasing evidence shows that the VA is failing them. I call on Secretary Eric Shinseki to acknowledge the agency’s failings and step aside. In order for the VA to regain the trust of our veterans, it must show that accountability applies to everyone, starting with the secretary.”

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  • krieg

    Why should he go, seems no one else in the administration is held accountable

  • David Kennedy

    Could Senator Rockefeller expound on his military record.....ha ha ha....ha ha ha....ha ha ha...and now, he has a say on the VA...ha ha ha....ha ha ha....

  • David Kennedy

    Sometimes, in politics, a few heads must roll to churn the media hype. This is a case in point.

    I use the VA in Clarksburg because they have a great hospital there. In 2004, they saved my life. Many of our areas best medical people sub-contract at that facility.
    If there is a problem with the VA, I feel that its a regional problem.

    The last thing I would want is to have the Federal Government screw up our local VA hospital.
    But once they begin their meddling, anything can happen.
    Obama and his croneys scare me to death...at least he will be gone soon.

  • griff

    nobama does not care about our veterans. it is a sad state when the pres will invite you to dinner at the whitehouse if you are athlete proudly announcing you are a queer. But then when military comes home they are ignored

  • DWL

    Yet another failure on the part of the m0r0n from Kenya, Chicago, Hawaii or where ever he claims to be from. If he touches it, it breaks.

  • TB

    Wreckafeller needs to go!

  • Paul

    Capito calls for Gen Shinseki to step aside In order for the VA to regain the trust of our veterans and states that accountability applies to everyone, starting with the secretary. I'm a veteran and disagree. I say start with the investigation and firing of the director of the Phoenix VA Hospital and commit to moving on and fire the next VA hospital director and/or staff that encouraged or allowed misconduct..

  • Veteran

    None of these bums ever serviced our country. All three are a bunch of draft dodgers. Including that worthless butt kisser Hoppy. Their opinion does not mean nothing. While all four of them were hiding under a rock. While Shinseki was defeating his country. These clowns are need to step down. For all concerned in WV.

  • Greedy

    Agree with Sen. Rockefeller, disagree with Reps. Rahall and Capito.

  • C. F. T.

    No Joe and Nick Joe are NO SHOW, on showing support for our Veterans for fear of OsBo.

  • DAVE


  • Pickle Barrel

    It is criminal what the VA has done to our veterans in need of medical care. This problem dates back decades. Government needs to get out of the business of running the VA hospitals, provide veterans with a health card (similar to Medicaid) and allow them to seek treatment from the health care provider of their choice.

    Rockefeller's statement supporting Shinseki shows just how out of touch he is with reality. Thank goodness he only has seven months left in office.

    • ViennaGuy

      Rockefeller is also out of touch with reality when it comes to his claim that the agency is underfunded. Since 2001, the total VA budget has grown from just under $25 billion to over $150 billion this fiscal year, with the medical part of that budget growing from $20 billion in 2001 to $59 billion this fiscal year - a tripling of the medical part of the VA budget in just 13 years.

      For perspective, $59 billion is more than five times the size of the State of West Virginia's entire budget - and only the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, and California spend more money than the Department of Veterans Affairs.

      For those who would say, "You don't get it, we have people coming home from war who are dealing with traumatic injuries of all types," yes, I do get it, and spending on veterans has increased proportionately since 2001 - increasing even during the Bush administration(see above).

      So the question needs to be asked - "Where is the money going?"

      It certainly isn't going to veteran care.

      • The bookman

        The VA is the single largest health care provider in this country , and is the template for socialized national health care. This is the future of all health care, except for the uber rich and elite, who will always be able to pay for the care they want. Rationing anyone?

        Pickle barrel is correct in that the private sector is the solution here, with a VA insurance card entitling those who have served our country the care they need and have earned.

        • ViennaGuy

          bookman, I totally agree with you and pickle barrel. Give the vets a card to pay for their own care and be done with it.