Democratic Senators Call On VA Secretary To Resign


This post has been updated.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) called for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign Wednesday, making him the first Democratic senator to do so.

Udall tweeted that he believes Shinseki must step down after the VA’s internal watchdog issued a report that found a Phoenix VA hospital underreported the average wait time for a veteran’s first medical appointment by 91 days, as well as left some 1,700 veterans off the official waiting list.

Udall is up for re-election in November against U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO).

Since Udall called for Shinseki to step down, two additional Democratic senators up for re-election have called for his resignation.

Sen. John Walsh (D-MT), who was appointed to replace Max Baucus and is now up for re-election in 2014, urged Shinseki to resign in a Wednesday statement.

“The Inspector General’s report confirms the worst of the allegations against the VA and its failure to deliver timely care to veterans. It is time for President Obama to remove Secretary Shinseki from office,” he said in the statement. “With the launch of inspections of VA facilities nationwide, it’s time to put the partisanship aside and focus on what’s right for our veterans.”

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), who is facing a tough re-election battle, called for Shinseki to step down as well.