This May 15, 2014 file photo shows Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. Associated Press/Cliff Owen.

Capitol Alert: Bera calls for VA chief Shinseki to resign

Published: Thursday, May. 29, 2014 - 5:05 pm

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, called Thursday for the resignation of Gen. Eric Shinseki, the head of the Veterans Administration, amid a growing scandal over delayed medical care for veterans.

The agency's inspector general published an interim report Wednesday that found that at least 1,700 veterans in the Phoenix area were never even placed on a waiting list for an appointment with a primary care physician.

While the inspector general's report noted that the review is ongoing, it found "significant delays in access to care" and that they weren't only limited to Phoenix.

In a statement, Bera, a physician, called the findings "deeply troubling."

"While General Shinseki's dedication and service to his country are indisputable," Bera said, "these failures that happened under his leadership are unacceptable and it is clear that he must step down."

Bera, a freshman, is seeking re-election in one of the most competitive House districts in the country.

Former Rep. Doug Ose, one of the three Republicans vying to challenge Bera, asked for Shinseki's resignation a week ago. In a statement, he called on his rivals, including Bera, to do the same.

"This is not about politics, but rather confidence and accountability," Ose said last week. "Right now, we need both."

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