Shinseki, while reiterating his previous statements that the White House is exempting the VA from any sequestration cuts, nonetheless echoed Panetta’s comments.
“If Leon is dealing with issues of sequestration, I’m concerned as well, because of the likely impact on veterans as they transition,” Shinseki said.
The two secretaries spoke after a meeting to discuss collaborative efforts in job training for departing troops, military suicide, and the backlog of disability claims filed by veterans.
“This is in many ways a national security issue,” Panetta said. “It goes to the heart of taking care of those who fight for us.”