Congressman Matt Salmon

Representing the 5th District of Arizona

Salmon Calls for Secretary Shinseki’s Immediate Resignation and Criminal Investigation in Response to Latest VA IG Report

May 28, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement regarding the preliminary report released by the VA Inspector General.

“When my colleagues and I set out to get answers for our veterans, we were determined to follow the facts, wherever they led. Unfortunately, those facts have revealed greater travesties than we could have imagined. Today, the Inspector General’s preliminary report revealed an additional 1,700 vets who were not on the official wait list at the Phoenix VA facility.  According to the IG, “these veterans may never obtain a requested or required clinical appointment”.

I am outraged by the attitudes of those who stood in the way of providing our veterans the answers they deserved. For weeks, those who sought the truth for our nation’s veterans were accused of inventing “conspiracy theories” and “fake scandals” for the purpose of political gain. This behavior is disgusting and unacceptable. Is there anything proponents of this Administration won’t defend?  This failure of leadership and lack of accountability must come to an end.  Yet, this morning, as the President took the opportunity to address our military’s future leaders at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point commencement ceremony, he demonstrated his lack of commitment to our current veterans by failing to even mention this issue or his intentions to fix it for our next generation of veterans.  This perpetuated the appalling acts of the Veterans Affairs staff and could appear as tacit approval of this pattern of silence. Where is the leadership, Mr. President?

While I am horrified by the IG’s findings so far, I also recognize that the first step to correcting this issue is to recognize that we have a problem. Now it is time to make it right and serve our veterans in a way that is worthy of their service to our great country.

First, it is time for Secretary Shinseki to resign his position as the head of Veterans Affairs in order to restore faith in the system.  Second, I join Chairman Jeff Miller’s call for the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation into the IG’s findings so that those who neglected our veterans are held responsible and justice is served. And third, I will turn my immediate attention to working with my colleagues to completely overhaul our veterans’ healthcare system so that those who served and sacrificed for our country receive the level and quality of care we promised them.

It is time for our nation’s leaders to lead on correcting this horrifying scandal. I am ready to do so; I hope President Obama is too.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Follow him on
Facebook and Twitter.

###