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GOP lawmakers say Shinseki resignation not enough to fix VA's problems

Posted at 3:21 PM, May 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-10 13:44:38-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has apologized publicly and resigned after a VA audit cited a failure of leadership as a root cause of the systemic problems plaguing the agency's health care system.

But Republicans in Congress say Shinseki's resignation alone isn't enough to fix the problems at an agency that has been struggling to keep up with a huge increase in demand for its services. About 9 million veterans are now enrolled in the health care system, roughly 1 million more than only six years ago.

House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama has a responsibility "to step in and make things right for our veterans." He and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell are calling on Democrats to join them in legislation to fix the system. The Republican-controlled House recently passed a measure to give the VA more ability to fire up to 450 senior executives.

%@AP Links

152-w-37-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent, with Representative Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio))--Congressional Republicans say they VA needs more than just a change at the top. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. ((opens with sound)) (30 May 2014)

<<CUT *152 (05/30/14)££ 00:37

154-a-12-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at news conference)-"usual cannot continue"-House Speaker John Boehner says Secretary Shinseki was right to resign. (30 May 2014)

<<CUT *154 (05/30/14)££ 00:12 "usual cannot continue"

155-a-16-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at news conference)-"a systemic problem"-House Speaker John Boehner says the VA needs a major overhaul. (30 May 2014)

<<CUT *155 (05/30/14)££ 00:16 "a systemic problem"

148-a-08-(Representative Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman, House Veterans Affairs Committee, with reporters)-"has not changed"-House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller says the VA needs a complete overbaul. (30 May 2014)

<<CUT *148 (05/30/14)££ 00:08 "has not changed"

149-a-09-(Representative Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman, House Veterans Affairs committee, with reporters)-"going to change"-House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller says the culture at the VA needs to change. (30 May 2014)

<<CUT *149 (05/30/14)££ 00:09 "going to change"

150-a-04-(Representative Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., in remarks)-"a great administrator"-Congressman Doug LaMalfa says Secretary Shinseki was right to step down. (30 May 2014)

<<CUT *150 (05/30/14)££ 00:04 "a great administrator"