Republican congressman Rep. Steve Buyer and Democratic Senator Patty Murray blamed the VA for a lack of leadership and deliberately misleading congress about treatment of veterans. In February, Senator Murray asked the VA how long it took to treat a veteran and was told that 90% of them were seen within 30 days. A report by the independent Inspector General office of the VA said the figure was actually 75% and noted a case of a disabled veteran who had to wait 269 days to get an appointment. Murray asked: “How can we be expected to trust this administration about the continuation of the ‘surge’ when they continue to cover up the true cost of their war?”
The president of the United States, not Congress, has the responsibility of appointing effective leadership of the Veterans Administration. The past few years have witnessed one story after another of mistreatment of wounded veterans as well as failure to speak the truth. In this situation, a Republican and a Democrat have joined forces to demand honesty from the VA– Bush can’t claim it is a partisan attack on him.