Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 31, 2015

Senator on Veterans Affairs Allegations: ‘Just Because CNN Says Something, Doesn’t Always Make It The Case’ (Video)

During Senate floor debate Wednesday over authorizing funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 18 states, the Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernard Sanders criticized members for jumping to conclusions over alleged misconduct at VA facilities, including in Phoenix, Ariz., which has received extensive media attention following a CNN report last week.

“I am not a lawyer, but I did learn enough in school to know that you don’t find somebody guilty without assessing the evidence,” the Vermont Independent said. “And frankly, just because CNN says something, doesn’t always make it the case.”

Some Senate Republicans, including Minority Whip John Cornyn, called for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign on Tuesday, while others, such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have refused to call for Shinseki’s ouster until hearings are held and the Inspector General’s report is complete.

Sanders called the allegations very serious, and said he would hold hearings on the issue.

“What we need is a serious, independent investigation in the very serious allegations about Phoenix and any other facility within the VA, and what I have said is that I will hold hearings immediately — more than one hearing if necessary — to get to the truth of the matter regarding the VA situation in Phoenix.”

Sarah Chacko and Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

  • Sue Frasier

    Let me be perfectly clear on this one. We are not 12 years old out here and we did not just

    arrive on the internet as of yesterday. We have seen these trends and patterns

    in every VA Secretary that we get who is NOT a competent and qualified medical

    practitioner or an administrator. And we do not need the Democrat Party Robots

    to line up as ENABLERS of the mass murders of our population. Bernie Sanders

    has had numerous red flags thrown at him that the VA was in serious trouble at

    the top. —- Sue Frasier, Army 1970, national veterans activist.

  • Jim S.

    The same lawmakers now subpoening, and with their flag waving patriots(?) supporting, that rubber stamped the two wars, and all related, costs off the books and on the credit card, quickly abandoning the missions and those sent after 9/11, while doing extremely little for not only the veterans of but also us previous veterans and from the decades and wars before, while once again under a conservative led VA, DeJa-Vu!!

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    Conservative Veterans Affairs Ideology, Fire Gen. Shinseki

    Just what the conservative, in this case the Always reactive and not proactive for vets, the legion, with their grossly over paid executives, ideology wants, Get rid of one that’s doing the job and in this case with help from the entire cabinet, hired to do, just as the conservatives in congress want,

    “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too” “not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    They were Jubilant when conservatives controlled congress and the bush fired the General for being Honest, now their call is being picked up through one of the so called established Veterans organization the American Legion! All were praising the VA during that time, of total conservative control, even though extremely little was being done as the long ignored veterans issues were still being ignored while two more wars, and long occupations from, were being rubber stamped as to costs, still unpaid for, and these younger veterans were joining our veterans community seeking the commitment the Country promises and the Country waved flags, and other symbols, of that ‘patriotic’ commitment only, DeJa-Vu all over again! Their long want is to privatize government agencies for corporate profit, much more costly, and unregulated running of, just like their national security wars!

    TX-19 Congressional Candidate Neal Marchbanks – Veteran: 28 March 2014 – “Congress controls the budget for the VA and it is the fault of Congress that the VA does not have enough employees and that the facilities are too small.”
    Congress, in Veteran Marchbanks statement, are the people served and who representatives work for, or are supposed to!

    “12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families.” Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: ‘With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility’ {two tax cuts, especially huge for the wealthy, with not a bit of guilt conscious for, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again from the previous decades and wars from! Ignore the many issues, by those served, no need to fund!}

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent

  • Don Andrews

    There is no doubt a very serious problem in Phoenix and some other VA Hospitals. But the “real cancer” is news reports that have never been background checked and verified. CNN ( communist news network ) is the scare monger in news reporting. As I said, this problem is real and it will take some time to investigate it by REAL investigators from the IG’s office. Most unfortunately veterans die and some will die while waiting. The bottom line is that the VA is so under funded and over crowded. The VA needed 5,000 Doctors, PA’s, Nurses and other medical support personnel not yesterday, but a year ago. To blame Secretary Shinseki for this problem is wrong. The true blood is on the hands of the law makers in Washington, who can’t agree on anything, including the time of day, except when its quitting time. I have been actively receiving treatment at the VA in Tampa, FL for 23 years. It actually amazes me how well the do with what they have on the NO FRILLS plan. The Orthopedic service is and has been understaffed for more than 5 years. How many doctors on the outside will see 30 – 40 patients in 4 hours, NONE. So, if you want to believe CNN, that’s up to you, but I don’t as I live the reality instead of creating it in fictionous reporting, as CNN is famous for.

  • Manny Bartow

    Since we, like our ancestors a century ago, are unable to predict civilization a century from now, it is foolish to think that civilization’s advance simply depends upon applying today’s knowledge and ideas.

  • Hima Layan

    If civilization is to advance, we must have plenty of leeway to adapt & revise our current ideas in response to unknown future conditions.

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