On Friday morning President Barack Obama accepted the resignation of former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson has been appointed as the Acting Secretary. Local politicians have released statements, both about Shinseki's resignation and the appointment of Gibson.
U.S. Congressman John Barrow (GA-12)
"For nearly 50 years, General Shinseki has honorably served this country in various capacities, serving with special distinction in our nation's military. The problems at the VA do not undo the decades of service he's given to our country. Unfortunately, these problems are much more serious than we were led to believe, and the only way to move forward is to begin a top-to-bottom rebuilding of the Agency. You couldn't find a nicer person or more dedicated public servant than General Eric Shinseki, but this changing of the guard is critical to move the VA forward."
"I had the honor of meeting one-on-one with now Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson last week in my office in Washington to discuss the issues at the VA. From our meeting, I found him to be extremely engaged and rightfully frustrated at the situation that has unfolded. I will remain in contact with Acting Secretary Gibson to ensure that we identify how these problems started, and to ensure that they never happen again. We owe that to the veterans who've given so much to our country."
U.S. Senator Tim Scott, R-SC
"As I said yesterday, while Secretary Eric Shinseki is a distinguished American soldier and I appreciate his service to our nation, it was time for new leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is my hope that President Obama and Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson can truly begin to address the rampant challenges that are preventing our brave veterans from receiving the care they need and deserve.
"President Obama must name a new Secretary who is a strong leader, proven manager and willing to be a true reformer. As this scandal continues to grow, the Department of Veterans Affairs must have a leader who will take these issues head on; our veterans deserve nothing less than the high quality, timely care they have earned."
Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel
"I appreciate Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation and believe it will be a positive step towards restoring faith with those who have honorably served our Nation. As we move forward, it is my hope that President Obama lives up to the promises he made on the campaign trail in 2008 and puts an end to the delays and denial of services our veterans face each day. I also believe the Administration should proceed with criminal investigations into the cover-ups that have led to the preventable complaints, illnesses, and deaths that plagued our VA system for years."
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-GA
"Now that the facts are coming in, including the release of the VA Inspector General's report, it is clear that Secretary Shinseki has made the right decision that is in the best interest of the VA and himself. It is now critical that we move to focus on who and what has caused the wrongdoing and put into place a new system of accountability for the future. We need to institute a culture of safety and timely service to our veterans."
Congressman Jack Kingston, R-GA.
"I commend the President for taking this first step towards ensuring proper care and treatment of our veterans, and I encourage him to remain engaged in fixing the culture of corruption at the VA. The next leader at the VA must act to root out the negligence, mismanagement, and lack of care prevalent across the bureaucracy. The government-run healthcare model is failing our veterans and Congress should seek better solutions for our heroes who all Americans agree deserve the very best."
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