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Pryor: Not ready to call for Shinseki resignation

By ANDREW DEMILLO The Associated Press

This article was published May 29, 2014 at 12:41 p.m.


U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor participates in a discussion about rising college costs and student loans in Little Rock on Thursday, May2 9, 2014.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor says he's outraged by treatment delays for military veterans but isn't ready to call for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down over the issue.

The two-term lawmaker from Arkansas told reporters Thursday that he wants more information on how widespread the systemic problems that an inspector general's report revealed about the VA. Pryor said he also wants to know whether similar problems exist at Arkansas' veterans' facilities.

The inspector general said Wednesday that about 1,700 veterans in need of care were kept off the official waiting list at the troubled Phoenix veterans hospital.

Pryor has faced criticism from Republican rival U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton over the scandal. Pryor's campaign has accused Cotton of falsely portraying the Democratic incumbent as being silent on the issue.

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2boxers says... May 29, 2014 at 3:26 p.m.

pryor is waiting on directions from obama, reed and peloisi

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RonalFos says... May 29, 2014 at 3:57 p.m.

Pryor is waiting like we all should, including most veteran organizations, until the facts are in!

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... May 29, 2014 at 4:25 p.m.

Shinseki retires at the end of this year.

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HotSpringsLawyer says... May 29, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.

I am not a veteran, and I agree that they should receive the best care possible. But hasn't the VA system always been legendarily cumbersome? And with all the increase in patients from two wars, one the longest in US history, hasn't the problem been coming for quite awhile?

That doesn't make it any better, but does make you wonder whether just firing everyone is the best solution.

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outinthesticks says... May 29, 2014 at 4:53 p.m.

Firing him is just a sacrifice to the political gods that says to the voters: "Hey look, we're doing something to fix it!" Nothing different than when a CEO gets fired from a company that is going down the generally does not and will not fix the underlying problems in the company. The vets deserve the best care we can give them. Unfortunately, I submit that any system run by the government will eventually become a mess like this. Obamacare heads us in that direction with non-vet healthcare.

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Populist says... May 29, 2014 at 5:07 p.m.

My sister just retired with the VA. The problem has been that the politicians love to vote for war, but don't like to fund the aftermath of necessary care. This problem has been acute for the last decade. I'm not sure that it is Shinseki's fault either.

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rbb72802 says... May 29, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.

Pryor the Liar

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Pacorabone says... May 29, 2014 at 5:49 p.m.

Duuuuh.... I'm gonna wait until I get more information on how widespread the systematic failure is... Duuuuuh I won't read a bill before I vote for it but I won't make a decision until I get more information.... Duuuuuh it's no wonder this guys wife divorced him. He is NOT a man of principal or values! Duuuuuuh

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HotSpringsLawyer says... May 29, 2014 at 5:58 p.m.

I think that not only the US but most war-making countries through history have had this tendency. E.g., "Thin Red Line" by Tennyson:

"You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!"

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SFCGUNNY says... May 29, 2014 at 6:05 p.m.

I am a Vet and I will be surprised if they find a "secret waiting list" at either of the Arkansas VA hospitals. I believe they are proof that VA hospitals can do a good job---with good management. My healthcare has been exceptional and it grieves mr that all Vets haven't had access to good healthcare. What really makes my blood boil is the Senate blocking a Bill enabling the VA to fire incompetent employees, apparently because they are recipients of campaign contributions from the federal employees labor union. I am interested to know if Pryor was involved in that. Those Senators need removed from office. As does Pryor.

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