House Veterans’ Affairs Chair: Shinseki ‘Woefully Unprepared’ for Hearing

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Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Rep. Jeff Miller (R., Fla.) had harsh words for the performance of Veterans Affairs Sec. Erik Shinseki in front of Senate Committee Thursday.

Rep. Miller appeared with me on WMAL radio in Washington, D.C., just hours after Sec. Shinseki testified on the growing scandal of alleged incompetence and record tampering at several VA hospitals.

“I think he was woefully unprepared for what he was supposed to do today,” Miller said of the secretary’s testimony.

I asked Miller if he had confidence that Shinseki was capable of solving the problems at the VA:

“What faith I have had in the secretary is waning rapidly. I’ll tell you today when he was asked about some two dozen GAO reports and OIG reports and he was not aware of many of them at all, it just goes to show you just how out of touch he is or how little his people are telling him. I think all they want to tell him is the good news and not the bad news. He really did look shell shocked in front of the Senate today because I really don’t know if he knew what was going on and there’s a problem there if he didn’t.”

Miller went on to say that the counsel for the VA has informed him that they are not going to be able to meet a Monday deadline to produce records that have been submitted by the House committee. Miller said if the deadline is not met, “I suspect we will go ahead and subpoena the secretary to appear before the committee.”

Miller went on to say that he has bipartisan support on his committee for the subpoenas that have been issued for information about the allegations of record tampering as well as for a special commission to investigate the growing scandal.  However, there is still no response from the White House about the special commission.