U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) made the following statement regarding the resignation of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki:
“Secretary Shinseki’s resignation is a necessary first step, but the VA crisis is bigger than any one person at the top. We must hold accountable all who played a role in this national embarrassment. In order to fix this systemic, widespread management failure, I'm calling for the VA inspector general to conduct a top-to-bottom nationwide investigation. Additionally, it is critical that actions are taken to improve the quality of care for our veterans by providing greater choice, while ensuring increased accountability and transparency at the VA.
“The same VA leaders who have called for the closure of the Hot Springs VA have now resigned in the wake of systemic, VA-wide failures to provide for our veterans. The administration should immediately halt the Environmental Impact Statement it has started for the closure of the Hot Springs VA. At this time, the VA must focus all of its resources on addressing the current crisis and ensuring that our veterans have the care they need and deserve.”On May 12, 2014, Thune introduced legislation (S.2316) that would direct the VA inspector general to expand its current limited review (currently at 42 facilities) to a nationwide investigation of veteran wait times.