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Peters Calls for Resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki

In Wake of Continued Reports of Negligence at VA Centers, Peters Demands Action and Accountability to Ensure Veterans’ Healthcare is the Priority

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Gary Peters called for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Peters met with fellow Michigan veterans last week and demanded increased accountability and immediate action to ensure that no veterans' health or lives are currently in danger because of negligence in the VA medical system. In light of a new Inspector General report revealing the scope of the VA medical crisis, Peters believes that the Veterans Affairs Department's need for immediate reform will not come under Secretary Shinseki's leadership.

“Our service men and women serve with distinguished honor and a selfless commitment to keeping Americans safe. When our veterans come home, they have earned that same level of commitment from our leaders," Peters said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs' primary responsibility is to keep the promise we make to our men and women in uniform. That means timely access to high quality healthcare, but unfortunately, the recent reports of negligence point to an agency that has failed our veterans. Secretary Shinseki must step aside so that new leadership at the VA can bring much needed reform and accountability to a badly damaged system that has put veterans' lives at risk. I respect Secretary Shinseki and thank him for his military service, but at this time the VA needs to fix these inexcusable problems and move forward with a renewed focus on what matters: the healthcare and benefits of our nation’s veterans.”

The son of a World War II veteran, Peters served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for more than a decade, becoming a Seabee combat warfare specialist and rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After 9/11, Peters volunteered to serve again. 

Peters believes that leaders in Congress and the Administration need to maintain a focus on the real issue at stake – the healthcare of American’s men and women in uniform. The health and benefits of our nation's veterans must never be politicized or used as a pawn in partisan games.

To ensure that veterans in Michigan were receiving adequate services from VA healthcare centers, Peters held a roundtable discussion last week at the Michigan Veterans Foundation in Detroit to hear about their experiences, challenges and their reaction to the reports about the VA medical crisis.

On Wednesday of last week, Peters voted in favor of the Veterans Affairs Management and Accountability Act, a measure to increase accountability at the VA by enhancing the Secretary’s authority to rapidly remove employees of the Senior Executive Service, based on their performance, from government service when their actions warrant dismissal.