Rep. Kinzinger: Shinseki won't 'survive' at VA

 

 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said late Monday he doesn’t think Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki will “survive” in his Cabinet post. 

“Look, Shinseki may be a good guy at heart. His window is very short. He needs to come out massively and change some things, but I don't think he survives this, to be honest with you,” Kinzinger said on Fox News’s “The Kelly File” Monday night. 

Kinzinger is an Air National guard pilot and an Iraq War veteran. The head of any company, he said, would be “run out of town” with the results that have occurred on Shinseki’s watch at the VA.

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The congressman suggested some VA officials should go to prison. 

“Look, not only do people need to be suspended, not only do they need to be fired, we need to talk about who needs to end up in jail over this,” he said. 

Kinzinger was referring to the reports from a VA hospital in Phoenix in which a whistleblower has alleged a secret waiting list led to the deaths of as many 40 veterans.

“It's offensive, it has to stop, and this is something America ought to be incensed about,” he said.

The effort to take on the problems surfacing at the VA should be bipartisan, Kinzinger added.

Shinseki is scheduled to testify before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on Thursday about a series of allegations concerning misconduct and cover-ups at VA facilities around the country.

A number of lawmakers called on Shinseki to resign last week, after the largest veterans advocacy group, The American Legion, first called on him to step down a week earlier.

The White House has repeatedly defended Shinseki’s record and has also promised investigations at the VA facilities in question. 

— This story was updated at 10 a.m. to correct the scheduled date for Shinseki's testimony.