- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2014

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey on Monday called on President Obama to fire Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, adding his voice to the growing chorus of lawmakers and veterans groups demanding the former Army chief of staff lose his job over the scandalous mismanagement of VA hospitals.

“He’s a wonderful public servant and has done a terrific job in many other areas, but it is time for the president to replace him,” Mr. Kerrey, Nebraska Democrat, said of Mr. Shinseki on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

He suggested that Mr. Obama name a returning veteran from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan as the new VA secretary.

Mr. Kerrey, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in combat, said his eight or nine year in VA hospitals when he returned from was “saved my life, gave me a chance to put my life back together.”

“I understand the importance of that medical system. I think Shinseki has lost the confidence both of the people who work there and the Congress,” Mr. Kerrey said.

Several lawmakers and veterans groups, including the the American Legion, also have called for the ouster of Mr. Shinseki.

Mr. Shinseki faced hostile questioning on Capitol Hill last week about secret waiting lists allegedly used at some VA hospitals to conceal extended delays in treatment. The delays and waiting lists have been blamed for 40 deaths at a VA hospital on Phoenix, CNN reported.

The White House has continued to support Mr. Shinseki.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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