(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) questioned Retired General Eric Shinseki, President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs, about challenges facing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and an outspoken leader in fighting for veterans’ benefits and care, discussed changing the overall culture at the VA, improving care for women veterans, and working to make the VA a more proactive agency. Secretary-Designate Shinseki”s nomination is expected to be voted on by the full Senate as part of a package of Obama administration nominees on January 20th.
January 14, 2009 – Murray invites Secretary-Designate Shinseki to visit Washington state veterans facilities
Calls for proactive approach to meeting long-term challenges, better care for women veterans, and warns against increased fees and co-pays for veterans
Senator Murray’s Opening Statement
Senator Murray asks about changing the culture at the VA
Senator Murray asks about improving care for female veterans and invites Secretary-Designate Shinseki to visit VA facilities in Washington state
Senator Murray is the author of legislation that would expand and improve health care services to women veterans, particularly women who have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Changing the Culture
Senator Murray began her questioning of Secretary-Designate Shinseki by highlighting some of the major failures that the VA has attempted to downplay under the Bush administration and how he would work to change the culture at the VA.
“Over the past 8 years, the VA has developed a track record and culture of downplaying some potentially embarrassing internal issues,” said Senator Murray. “Whether it’s budget shortfalls or inaccurate suicide data, and this has come at the expense of the veterans we’re serving.”
Senator Murray went on to ask Secretary-Designate Shinseki how he will go about building a VA that “focuses on providing for veterans needs rather than avoiding public relations disasters.”
Listen to Murray’s question on changing the culture at the VA and Secretary-Designate Shinseki’s response.
My added note
Any reports you may read or hear about as to how this previous administration, and the republican controlled congress as they wage two conflicts, raised the funding for Military Care and Veterans Care are Not Truthful Statements!
Extra monies were needed, desperately, as we had returning Soldiers of Both Occupations returning and needing costly treatments, that’s where any extra money went!
The same thing happened after ‘Nam leaving Veterans from before lacking while also not injecting enough money to care for the returning Vets.
Reason we’ve also seen, once again, the attempts to denie claims under false rhetoric and accusations to those seeking their needed care!