U.S. SENATE News:
ALBUQUERQUE – Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., issued the following statement today calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down:
“Independent investigators at the VA are now confirming what I have been saying for weeks: that the problems at the VA are systemic and rooted in a culture that has rewarded cover-ups and cheating to the point of risking the health of our veterans. What I have heard from New Mexico veterans and read in the OIG report is a betrayal of the heroes who fought for our freedom. It’s clear to me that Secretary Shinseki must step down to make way for new leadership that can restore accountability and transparency and ensure veterans in New Mexico and nationwide get the care they have earned.”
Udall announced today that he will submit his first report to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) based on what he has heard from New Mexico veterans, family members and others, who have contacted his office.
Earlier this month, Udall urged veterans with concerns about mismanagement of the scheduling system or other problems to contact the OIG or his office by phone or via a special page on his website: tomudall.senate.gov/veterans. He has since received numerous calls and emails from veterans who reported problems similar to those at the Phoenix VA.
“I have called for an immediate investigation of New Mexico’s VA. The veterans and others who have contacted me have reported very serious concerns with the scheduling system and other issues that have directly affected the level of care they are receiving. We must get to the bottom of this — and fast. I continue to urge those with knowledge of VA scheduling manipulation in New Mexico to contact the OIG or my office. We cannot stop until the VA health system has comprehensive reform and the resources it needs. Veterans deserve nothing less than the best health care we can provide.”