Hagel, Kerrey split on Secretary Eric Shinseki’s future at the VA


Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Two years after campaigning together across Nebraska, Vietnam veterans Bob Kerrey and Chuck Hagel aren’t seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to the head of the VA.

Chuck Hagel campaigning with Bob Kerrey in 2012

Kerrey, former Nebraska Governor and Senator, wants Secretary Eric Shinseki gone yesterday,while Defense Secretary Hagel argues fixing the VA outweighs firing Shinseki.

Asked about reports of misconduct, treatment delays and falsified records at VA facilities nationwide, Hagel told CBS News that while there is “zero tolerance” for the problems all the facts aren’t in yet.

“Why did this happen? How was it allowed to happen? Who’s accountable? Someone has to be accountable here, like in any institution,” Hagel said.

While Hagel won’t say Shinseki needs to go, Kerrey has told Nebraska Watchdog that ship has sailed.

According to Kerrey although Shinseki, a retired four star Army general, is a terrific man he’s “lost confidence of the veterans community and he’s lost the confidence of the Congress.”

Kerrey is also recommending what he’d like to see in the next VA leader.

“We need a younger veteran—preferably one who was injured in Iraq or Afghanistan— because those are the guys who need to be at the front of the line, not the Vietnam Veteran.”

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

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