Updated 8:01 p.m.
Two Georgia Democrats are the first members of President Obama's party to call for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.
“Secretary Shinseki is a decorated veteran who has served this country honorably, and I’ve personally met him on numerous occasions and found him to be devoted to caring for this nation’s heroes. Unfortunately, this Administration has fallen short in providing the kind of care that our veterans have earned. While I don't think a change in leadership will immediately solve the serious problems that plague the VA, I do think it’s time to give someone else an opportunity to lead the agency and begin the rebuilding process to ensure these issues never happen again. Our nation’s veterans deserve the best we can give them, and too much time has passed since this issue was brought to light without anyone being held accountable. Secretary Shinseki deserves the utmost respect for his service, but it's time for someone new to get to the bottom of what's happened on his watch.”
Barrow is a five-term lawmaker and faces arguably the most challenging reelection of any House Democratic incumbent this year. He is one of the most moderate members of the Democratic caucus and frequently bucks his own party on closely watched, politically sensitive legislation, including measures to repeal or defund parts of the Affordable Care Act, curtail the powers of the Internal Revenue Service in the wake of its targeting scandal and to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress.
Scott called for Shinseki's resignation during debate on the VA Accountability Act, a bill the House passed overwhelmingly Wednesday evening. In comments on the House floor before the vote, Scott suggested that greater urgency is needed in addressing the allegations.
So far, several dozen Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have called for Shinseki's resignation, while top congressional leaders have said he should remain in office to help address what they perceive as systemic issues at the sprawling department.