Suzanne Higgins Published

West Virginia's Congressional Delegation Split on Shinseki


While Senator Jay Rockefeller is standing by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Congressman Nick Rahall and Congresswoman Shelly Capito are calling for his resignation amid the scandal that has embroiled the Veterans Administration for weeks.

Rahall added his name Friday to the growing list of Democrats joining Republicans calling for Shinseki to step down, signaling mounting pressure on the Secretary.

President Obama and other congressional Democrats, including Sen. Rockefeller, have so far stood by Shinseki as the claims mount that veterans were made to wait for medical care at various facilities contributing to the death of dozens of veterans and that VA employees engaged in a cover-up.

Rahall released a statement saying Shinseki has served with dignity and honor but by stepping down “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.”

Rockefeller, the longest-serving member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released a statement Friday noting under Shinseki the backlog of pending VA claims has been cut in half, and millions of veterans continue to receive top quality care.

He said the root of VA problems is a budget that has been drastically cut.

Capito released a statement Thursday also calling for the Secretary’s resignation.