(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) called for the resignation of Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert McDonald. In addition to McDonald’s controversial statement yesterday comparing VA wait times to those at Disneyland, Vitter contends McDonald’s leadership at the VA has failed to improve efficiency within the agency.
“Our nation’s veterans who have sacrificed so much deserve far more than insulting, ignorant jokes and a prolonged failure to fix the major problems within the agency,” said Vitter. “Not only has Secretary McDonald blatantly ignored Congressional requests and concerns regarding his choice in personnel, but he has also been very well aware of the terrible wait times in Louisiana including the VA’s failures to get the outpatient clinics completed. He’s dragged his feet in Louisiana, and this insulting Disneyland analogy sums up what many thought of him. Leadership starts at the top, and the VA needs a leader who will prioritize implementing necessary reforms to better serve our veterans. For the sake of our brave men and women in uniform, it’s high time for Secretary McDonald to turn in his resignation.”
Vitter has been critical of Secretary McDonald’s leadership of the VA. Most recently, McDonald appointed Dr. Skye McDougall to be Director of the South Central Veterans Affairs Health Care Network (VISN 16) who lied under oath during a congressional hearing. McDougall lied under oath to Committee members indicating the average wait time for a medical appointment at her then-assigned post in Los Angeles, California was 4 days. CNN later reported that she was lying and the average wait time for new patients at that facility was actually 44 days. Click here to read more.
Vitter, along with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), has also been working to establish permanent VA clinics in Southwest Louisiana. The lawmakers recently held a call with VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson and Peter Dancy, the new director of the Alexandria Veterans Affairs Health Care System (AVAHCS), to ensure the projects are completed by the end of the year. Click here to read more.