Sadly, this has proven to be the best political football every in the wake of elections in November. It will be an ongoing issue probably until at least 2016 – for no other reason than some of the fixes for the VA issue aren’t overnight fixes and will rely on the same people politicking on it to increase the budget and provide funding where its needed.
House Republicans vowed there will be no “honeymoon” for President Barack Obama and his new Veterans Affairs secretary in the coming weeks.
In fact, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that as far as he’s concerned, the resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki was mostly symbolic. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had resisted calling for Shinseki to go in recent days, instead trying to shine the scandal’s spotlight directly on the White House.
Given Boehner’s comment on Friday morning, there’s little reason to believe the House will shift tactics, hoping to make the VA’s woes into a wider debate about the president’s competency.
“General Shinseki has dedicated his life to our country and we thank him for his service. His resignation, though, does not absolve the president of his responsibility to step in and make things right for his veterans,” Boehner told reporters in a hastily arranged press conference. “One personnel change cannot be used as an excuse to paper over a systemic problem. Our veterans deserve better, we’ll hold the president accountable until he makes things right.”