Florida senators Nelson, Rubio, as well as other lawmakers, agree Shinseki had to go

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, reacting to the news that Eric Shinseki had resigned as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, said, “He did the right thing, and he’s putting his country first.”

Nelson, a Democrat, is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and has known the general for a number of years.

He added:

“This is a strong, patriotic general who stood up to Donald Rumsfeld about the length of time that we were going to have to be in Iraq. Now that he resigned, we can get on. There ought to be a lot of heads rolling, because there is something in the culture of the VA that is not responding to serve our veterans the very best that they deserve.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, had called for Shinseki to go earlier in the week. In a statement Thursday, Rubio said a recent VA inspector general report on problems in the VA health system “confirmed our worst fears about rampant mismanagement and institutional neglect at the VA.”

On Friday, after the resignation, Rubio added in a statement:

“Secretary Shinseki’s resignation is just the first step in addressing the institutional neglect of veterans at the VA, but that alone won’t solve the problem. The systemic mismanagement will continue unless we bring reform to the VA and hold all those who are responsible accountable. Under current law, whoever succeeds Secretary Shinseki will be prohibited from firing VA employees such as those detailed in the inspector general’s latest report, who have failed at their jobs and therefore failed our nation’s veterans.”

Rubio is pushing legislation that seeks to remedy those issues.

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Miami, said Shinseki had “served this nation honorably” but that visits with veterans “made clear that there are systemic issues that need to be addressed.”

“While the problems facing the VA were not necessarily created by Secretary Shinseki, new leadership is in order to right this ship,” Garcia said. “We can now move forward with a fresh start to thoroughly examine and address the clearly widespread issues facing the VA and ensure they never happen again so that our nation’s veterans can get the care they have so rightly earned.”

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
This photo taken Dec. 21, 2012 photo Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Cal., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaking at a Capitol Hill news conference in Washington. Sunday in Washington, Aug. 31, 2014, Feinstein said President Barack Obama may be "too cautious" in his approach to dealing with Islamic State militants. Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" she said that the Defense and State departments have been putting together a response to the threat, and has seen nothing to compare to the viciousness of the militants who have overrun large portions of Iraq, killed civilians and beheaded American journalist James Foley. Feinstein says the Islamic State group has financing, military structure and weapons unlike any other militants and called them "extraordinarily dangerous."

    Lawmakers: Islamic State groups wants to hit US

    Cities in the United States and Western Europe are being eyed as Islamic State militants' future targets and President Barack Obama needs to take action, U.S. lawmakers say.

  •  
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama greets supporters before speaking on the economy at the Milwaukee Laborfest in Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee. The last time President Barack Obama came to Wisconsin to celebrate workers' rights on Labor Day, there was barely a hint of the turmoil that was to come just months later as public employees fought unsuccessfully to retain their ability to collectively bargain. Now, four years later, as the architect of the law that stripped unions of that power faces re-election, Obama is coming back to Milwaukee for an event also featuring Gov. Scott Walker's Democratic challenger Mary Burke.

    Obama promoting economic gains as elections near

    Boosted by recent economic gains, President Barack Obama is sounding more bullish about the nation's recovery from the Great Recession and the White House is encouraging Democrats to show similar optimism as they head into the November mid-term elections.

  •  
This June 18, 2014 file photo shows Iowa Democratic Senate candidate, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The first midterm elections since both parties embraced a historic change in campaign finance, and with it a sea of campaign cash, will mean for most voters an avalanche of television ads trying to reach the few able to be swayed and willing to vote. In the nation's closest races for U.S. Senate, that translates into "price per vote" that could easily double what was spent in the 2012 presidential election.

    Brace yourselves: Campaign cash buying tons of ads

    Iowa's airwaves are already jammed with political ads, most of them negative, in one of the Senate races nationwide that will decide which party claims the majority.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category