Democratic congressional candidate Jim Mowrer of Boone says it’s time for the head of the Veterans Administration to go and Mowrer says he’s troubled by how President Obama has handled the growing scandal within the VA.
“This is an emergency situation when you have 40 veterans dying and we have 26 different facilities where there’s evidence of people cooking the books,” Mowrer says. “That’s unacceptable.”
Seventy-one-year-old Eric Shinseki — a retired four-star Army general who’s been head of the VA for the past five years — should resign, according to Mowrer.
“We need to reform the system,” Mowrer says. “I think we need new leadership, first of all.”
Officials in some VA centers are accused of creating fake waiting lists to hide long delays for veterans awaiting treatment and other services from the VA.
“I am appalled by what we’re seeing,” Mowrer says.
Mowrer is an Iraq war veteran. He left a job in the Pentagon a year ago, moved back to Iowa and announced he would challenge Republican Congressman Steve King’s bid for reelection. Mowrer calls the VA a “rudderless ship approaching disaster” and he says there’s been a “failure of leadership at every level” of government.
“This is something that is a bipartisan problem and we can’t have a Republican solution or a Democratic solution to it,” Mowrer says. “There has to be an American solution to taking care of American veterans.”
Mowrer says this situation is similar to problems uncovered back in 2007 at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which is run by the Army. President Bush gave the Secretary of the Army a couple of weeks to address the problems and, when Bush didn’t see enough progress, the secretary was dismissed. Mowrer says that’s what Obama needs to do now with Shinseki, the head of the VA.