Murkowski Responds to Shinseki Resignation

Senator Lisa Murkowski today had the following response to the news that VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki offered his resignation to President Obama, and it was accepted:

“No one can question General Eric Shinseki’s service to our nation or his patriotism.  However, it is fair to ask how entrenched the system-wide bureaucratic problems are that General Shinseki inherited and how best to push to the VA into a more transparent and effective era.

“From our state’s vantage point, Secretary Shinseki took a keen interest in reforming the Alaska VA healthcare system – advancing many positive improvements.  He answered my call to ensure that Alaska veterans would receive treatment in Alaska instead of flying to Seattle for care available here. He entered into groundbreaking agreements with the Alaska Native health system to treat rural veterans, bringing an effort I began in 2006 to a successful conclusion. And he supported expansion of the Tribal Veteran Representative program.

“Because of his deeply held belief in accountability, General Shinseki submitted his resignation to the President today.  But this structural problem is far larger than one man, and if true reform is to be enacted and felt within the VA, Shinseki should be the first of many, many more to depart the agency.

“Our veterans deserve better.  Americans demand more.”