WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor about the systemic dysfunction within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the need for leadership. After sharing several examples of Kansas veterans who have been disregarded by the VA, Sen. Moran demanded accountability from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and called for his resignation.
“Veterans are waiting for action and yet the VA continues to operate in the same old bureaucratic fashion, settling for mediocrity and continued disservice to our nation’s heroes,” Sen. Moran said. “There’s a difference in wanting change and leading it to happen. Today I am demanding accountability and true transformation within the VA system in its culture from top to bottom and all across the country. Secretary Shinseki is seemingly unwilling or unable to do so and change must be made at the top. I ask the Secretary to submit his resignation and I ask President Obama to accept that resignation. We must never forget that our nation has responsibility to its veterans… We need a department of Veterans Affairs worthy of your sacrifice.”
Sen. Moran joins the American Legion and Concerned Veterans for America in calling on Secretary Shinseki to step down amidst the failures of the VA system and the Department’s unwillingness to provide answers and take action. The ongoing claims backlog, medical malpractice, mismanagement, lack of oversight and unethical environments all contribute to the VA’s failure.
During his remarks, Sen. Moran stated that the problem is not a lack of resources – the problem is with leadership and the lack of will to change. VA funding levels have increased more than 60 percent since 2009. President Obama himself recently stated that “we’ve resourced the Veterans Affairs office more in terms of increases than any other department or agency in my government.” To date, these increases have not equaled an increase in service and support to veterans.
Sen. Moran has been a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee for 18 years, chaired the Health Subcommittee in the House for two years, and has worked with nine VA Secretaries.