Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


May 30, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, issued the following statement regarding the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki:

“Without a doubt, General Eric Shinseki is a fine man with a great record of service to this country. As Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I am grateful for the positive accomplishments Secretary Shinseki brought to the Department and wish him well in all his future endeavors. Through his work at the VA, over 2 million new veterans enrolled in health care; spending on mental health issues, suicide prevention, and treatment of post-traumatic stress substantially increased; rates of veteran unemployment and homelessness were cut; an emphasis was placed on improving women’s care; and the VA disabilities claims backlog was reduced by more than 50%.

“While I regret that these dire circumstances have brought about this resignation, it is important to be mindful of the issues which the Department of Veterans Affairs still faces. No matter who is at the helm of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American people expect and veterans deserve the best service possible. In addition to completing and acting upon the ongoing IG investigation and recommendations regarding the management of the hospital system, this service from the VA includes continuing to address veterans’ homelessness, full development of an integrated DoD-VA Electronic Health Records System, and eliminating the claims backlog for all veterans waiting for the benefits they are due. I look forward to working with Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson to address these important issues, as highlighted in a letter sent today from Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson and me.”

To view the letter, please click here.

Retired U.S. Army General Eric K. Shinseki was nominated by President Barack Obama on December 7, 2008 to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Before his nomination, Secretary Shinseki served as Chief of Staff, United States Army, from 1999 to 2003, and retired from active duty on August 1, 2003. During his tenure, he initiated the Army Transformation Campaign to address both the emerging strategic challenges of the early 21st century and the need for cultural and technological change in the United States Army.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he led the Army during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and integrated the pursuit of the Global War on Terrorism with Army Transformation. Prior to becoming the Army’s Chief of Staff, Eric Shinseki served as Vice Chief of Staff, Commanding General of the U.S. Army and NATO Land Forces, Central Europe, and has been awarded numerous medals of distinguished service and merit for his service to the nation in the United States Army.