Mark Warner: Statement on Veterans Affairs, Shinseki

mark-warnerLike most Americans, I am outraged about how our veterans are being treated. The preliminary Inspector General’s report shows this is a systemic problem that dates back many years. We have to fix the system now.

The controversy over Gen. Shinseki’s leadership has taken attention away from the real issue – the need for swift, decisive action to reform the VA, change its culture, and ensure that we provide quality, timely services for our veterans.

Gen. Shinseki has served our country with distinction. I now believe he should step aside in order to allow our focus and our efforts to be on making the critically needed changes to fix the Va.

No one has pushed the Va harder than me: we pressed them to broaden PTSD services for female veterans. We pushed them on the claims backlog. It took us more than a year to get the Va to adopt the William & Mary law school’s pro bono model, which helps veterans with some of the toughest disability claims.  That Virginia model is now being expanded to 15 other law schools across the country.

It is important that we provide Virginia’s veterans with the services they have earned – and which we as a nation have committed to provide.

Mark Warner is a United States Senator.

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