U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer and Adam Smith on Thursday joined the chorus of lawmakers calling for Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to resign amid reports that VA staffers in several states falsified records on patient wait times to hide delays in care.
"Fixing these problems starts with accountability," Smith, a Bellevue Democrat, said in a statement. "That requires a change in leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs."
So far, most of the calls for Shinseki's resignation have come from Republicans taking aim at President Barack Obama's appointee.
Both Kilmer and Smith cited the release this week of an Inspector General report confirming allegations that VA staffers in Phoenix misreported patient wait times as key to their decisions to break with the Obama administration on Shinseki.
"While Secretary Shinseki is a dedicated veteran who has served our country honorably, these systemic troubles at the VA call for a change in leadership from the top on down," Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat, said in a written statement.
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, also has called for Shinseki’s resignation.
Kilmer represents a veteran-heavy district that includes Naval Base Kitsap. Smith is the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.