Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki waves after addressing the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans in Washington Friday. Shinseki is under bipartisan pressure to resign amid problems with the agency’s medical care system. Win McNamee/Getty Images
Update at 11:20 a.m. ET: Obama Accepts Shinseki’s Resignation
Citing systemic problems at the VA, President Obama says Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned his post Friday.
The president said a review of the VA’s systems had found “unacceptable” problems in the agency.
We’ll update as more news comes out.
Our original post continues:
“This situation can be fixed,” Shinseki said of the VA crisis Friday morning, in a speech at the convention for the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
Shinseki apologized for a situation that has reportedly included long wait times, fudged records and preventable deaths in the VA’s medical system.
On Wednesday, the VA’s inspector general issued an interim report that said “patients at the Phoenix VA hospital were put on unofficial wait lists and subjected to treatment delays of up to 115 days,” as the Two-Way reported.
“I will not defend it because it is indefensible,” Shinseki said. “But I can take responsibility for it and I do.”
Saying that he had begun the process of removing the Phoenix facility’s senior leadership, Shinseki also announced that he is suspending executive bonuses that are based on patient wait times. He also said he wants Congress to give his office more power to hire and fire staff within the agency.
In this morning’s speech, Shinseki announced a success in another project, saying homelessness among veterans had dropped by 24 percent since 2010. As he discussed those gains, he received several standing ovations during Friday morning’s event.
Both Obama and Shinseki have pledged to hold accountable anyone who’s found to have contributed to the VA’s problems.