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Boehner to Obama: Fix the VA

House Republicans ask President Obama to push their legislation through the senate.

By Matt Bradwell
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, is joined by veterans as he speaks during a press conference on legislation that would bring greater accountability to the Department of Veterans' Affairs, on Capitol Hill. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, is joined by veterans as he speaks during a press conference on legislation that would bring greater accountability to the Department of Veterans' Affairs, on Capitol Hill. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- Top-ranking House Republicans sent a letter to the White House Wednesday demanding immediate action following the resignation of Eric Shinseki in response to the ongoing Veterans Affairs scandal.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers wrote that President Barack Obama must announce plans to address the factors that led to prolonged wait times and untreated patients at VA hospitals nationwide.

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"It is imperative that you lay out for the American people your vision for reforming what is clearly a broken system," the letter says.

"Are you willing to do whatever it takes, pending the results of the investigations that are underway, to ensure our veterans get the care we owe them, even if it means shaking up the current bureaucracy and rethinking the entire system? Do you agree the VA is a system that may need to be fundamentally transformed in order to meet its mandate of service and care to our nation's veterans?"

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The Republicans had suggestions of their own, including asking President Obama to urge Senate Democrats to reconsider blocking legislation that would give the VA secretary the authority to fire and demote senior officials responsible for internal failures.

"We ask that you support this proposal, or offer an immediate, effective alternative."

The letter was sent just hours after reports started coming from the White House that Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, has been approached to replace Shinseki. The Cleveland Clinic is an Ohio-based medical research center.

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