Kansas lawmakers call for Shinseki to resign

FILE - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki speaks with the news media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 15, 2014, after testifying before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing to examine the state of Veterans Affairs health care. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WICHITA, Kansas – There is some pressure on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, to step down.

Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas is leading the latest charge.

“Well, what we are looking for is better quality health-care and benefits in a timely fashion for Kansas and American veterans,” says Moran. “And what that’s going to take, in my opinion, is better leadership at the Department of Veteran Affairs.”

Moran says he has asked President Obama to have Shinseki step down. And, while Kansas VA leaders are not commenting, KSN asked if there are problems.

“My son is in the army and one day he will be a veteran,” says director Francisco Vazquez of the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita. “So my interest is in the VA today and the VA tomorrow. Keep it strong and relevant for our veterans so we can always take care of them.”

Vazquez has been on the job as the leader of the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center for a little less than a year now, but says he’s impressed with how hard the staff works.

“And you talk to our staff here and they are so focused on the mission,” says Vazquez. “And they go beyond what our basic mission is because we are not just treating patients, we are treating our nations heroes and our veterans who have kept us free. So it’s a big charge and we’re very proud of it.”

But on the national leadership level, Senator Moran says the head of the VA has to go.

“But that hasn’t happened yet and I don’t know whether that will happen,” says Moran. “There’s a lot of talk about waiting for more investigation and reports on what is wrong with the VA. But, this is nothing new. They have taken little or no apparent action. I want to make sure the right people are in place. We have a significant culture of mediocrity.”

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