squirrelheader.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Walorski: Veteran's Affairs Investigation May Be Too Big For Inspector General

Jackie_Walorski.jpg
Speaker of the House John Boehner's office
/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/speakerboehner/13607898585

The first member of Congress to call for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation says Shinseki's exit needs to be the start of reform efforts, not the end.

Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-2nd) says the lengthy wait times at VA hospitals and cooked books to conceal them should lead to criminal charges against those directly responsible, and a fresh set of eyes at the top to order a comprehensive review.

Ideally, she says, a new secretary would have hospital and administrative experience, but she says whoever takes over the department needs to approach its problems with urgency.

"When you're talking about now going to have to look at every single VA hospital, this is an urgent situation," she says. "And I think what the American people are going to want to see is urgent response, and without politics entering into this."

Walorski, who’s the daughter of an Air Force veteran, says a bill she filed months ago would have helped close some of loopholes concerning the records of service members that led to the problems in Phoenix. But she says the investigation might be too complex for the U.S. Inspector General's Office.

"It's simply too big and it's too layered for just the IG," Walorski says. "And I think that there's going to have to be some outside investigation as well to continue to win credibility."

Walorski serves on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and says that panel will continue its own review of the waiting-list scandal and other problems.

Shinseki tendered his resignation to President Obama Friday.

Related Content