Pryor on VA Sec. Shinseki Resignation: “Not Yet”

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LITTLE ROCK, AR – Senator Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas, said Thursday he is not calling for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign yet, saying “I’m looking closely at everything” in regards to the unfolding VA scandal.

Pryor said Thursday he is “pretty mad” and “outraged” about the revelations over the last several weeks.

“In terms of Shenseki’s resignation, my view on that is not yet, I’m not going to call for that yet,” Pryor says. “There’s an interim report right now, there’s more to follow sometime in the next couple weeks, I’m not quite sure exactly when the final report comes out, but I have a lot of questions about what he knew.”

Pryor made the remarks amid more than a dozen Democrat colleagues joining congressional Republicans Wednesday asking for Shinskeki to resign.

The House passed the VA Management Accountability Act 390-33 on May 21, making it easier for the VA secretary to fire incompetent VA staff.

Pryor told reporters Thursday he is now a co-sponsor of similar legislation in the Senate.

“We are scheduled to go to that bill, I think it’s in about three weeks or so on the Senate floor,” Pryor says. “It’s very possible that we’ll take this VA management bill and take it out of there and pass it separately. Because I know that a lot of my colleagues are outraged by this.”

The political action committee Concerned Veterans for America, airing ads in support of congressman Tom Cotton, said Thursday it successfully pressured the two-term Democrat to support the VA Management Act.

“Look at the facts,” Pryor says. “The very first moment it came to the Senate was literally an unexpected amendment in the appropriations committee and I voted for it. They’re just being political. I hope people don’t politicize this, our veterans are too important to politicize this.”

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