While a scandal within the Department of Veterans Affairs deepens, appointed Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) appears to be covering for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
Also from Washington, the Keystone XL pipeline fizzles yet again, as Democrats block a vote in the US Senate.
Here’s the latest from Fox News First: VA SCANDAL DEEPENS
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki will head to the hill next week to testify in front of the House Veterans Affairs Committee the claim that a Phoenix VA hospital had a “secret waiting list” for sick veterans. The supposed list contained around 1,500 veterans being forced to wait for appointments at the hospital that resulted in more than 40 deaths. Fox News: “The vote [to subpoena Shinseki] on the House Veterans Affairs Committee comes as Shinseki begins to face calls — from Congress and beyond — for his resignation. In an interview with CBS News, Shinseki brushed aside those calls, while acknowledging that the Phoenix controversy ‘makes me angry.’ Shinseki has placed top Phoenix officials on leave as the department tries to get to the bottom of what happened.” The committee chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., told the WaPo, “It is unfortunate that we have to come to this decision, but we did not do so without substantial justification…The last few weeks have been a model of VA stonewalling, which precipitated the need for a subpoena.”
While the national American Legion is demaning Shinseki’s resignation, it appears appointed Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) is covering for Shinseki, all while attempting to take a cheap partisan political shot.
Here’s what I said on Facebook after Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) called on Shinseki to resign, and Walsh tried to blame the VA problems on funding:
This is completely despicable of appointed Sen. John Walsh to lie about VA funding bills to advance his career. Just because Shinseki served in the military doesn’t mean incompetence at the top of the VA should be tolerated- it is a disservice to our veterans. Then again…many folks believe the appointed Senator is incompetent at the job he is filling as well, and he uses his military service on his sleeve as an excuse to stay in the job.
In addition to Daines, former SEAL Team 6 commander and US House candidate Ryan Zinke (R-MT) is also calling on Shinseki to step down.
Even a blogger fairly well connected to the Hilltop consultants running the Walsh campaign thinks Shinseki should resign:
On another note, the Keystone XL pipeline fizzled once again in the Democratic-controlled US Senate this week.
Politico’s “Morning Energy” notes:
That was fast: Republicans quickly began criticizing several Democrats who support Keystone XL but are vulnerable this fall. Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox said the blocked vote “is a blow to every Democrat Senator – especially Energy Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu – who claims they can deliver for their constituents.” And Republican Steve Daines’ campaign quickly went after Democrat John Walsh, who co-sponsored the Keystone XL bill, in an email blast with the subject line: “With Senate Keystone Vote Canceled, Where’s Walsh?”
“Even if Senate Democrats would rather pander to the far left and shut down debate, Republicans are going to keep fighting for the middle class,” McConnell said.