By Keith Laing - 05/25/14 12:11 PM EDT
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-lll.) called Sunday for Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, saying the embattled VA leader was not fit to lead the department through a controversy involving medical mistreatment of military veterans.
The VA has been accused of allowing a backlog of cases to build up for years in some cases and attempting to cover up the problems by falsifying records.
Kinzinger said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that Shinseki sound resign because of the scandal.
President Obama has thus far resisted calls to fire Shinseki, arguing that the agency was attempting to make corrections through methods like allowing veterans to go to non-VA facilities more often to help ease the backlog.
Kinzinger said Shinseki should be let go because he has been at the veterans’ affairs agency since the beginning of the Obama administration and he has not fixed the problems at the department.
“In fact, a year ago, I had conversations with colleagues about calling for his resignation and I don't want to jump on the resignation bandwagon,” he said. “Where it changed is when I heard that there were, in fact, secret waiting lists. And look, the reality is, it's been six years, he hasn't been able to tackle this. We've got to have answers now. He's a great guy, but I think maybe bring somebody like a hospital administrator in.
“Just [because] the general's been in the military doesn't mean he knows how to run the largest hospital … in the country,” Kinzinger added. “So I think it's time for a major shake up at the VA, like it happened after 2007 and after those reports that we're going to talk about later, I think it's time for a major change and it starts from the top.”