Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government

Congress Votes To Subpoena VA Chief Shinseki

A House committee on Thursday voted to issue a subpoena to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki over allegations of delays at VA hospitals that may have caused as many as 40 deaths of patients waiting for care.

In addition to calling Shinseki to testify, lawmakers also subpoenaed records from a Phoenix VA hospital that allegedly maintained an alternate wait list showing that patients waited only a few weeks for treatment when in fact some waited more than a year.

Some Senate Republicans and the American Legion have called on Shinseki to resign over the controversy.

"I'm not ready to join the chorus of people calling on him to step down," Boehner, R-Ohio, said of Shinseki at a news conference, adding that there is a "systemic management issue throughout the VA that needs to be addressed."

Speaking with NPR on Wednesday, Shinseki rebuffed questions about a possible resignation, saying the inspector general had yet to report on the situation at Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system.

"Allegations like this get my attention," Shinseki told All Things Considered. "I take it seriously and my habit is to get to the bottom of it.

"If allegations are substantiated, we'll take swift and appropriate action," he said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit