Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California on Thursday became the first House Republican leader to call for embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign amid a scandal over poor veterans' health care services.
McCarthy is the third-ranking Republican in the House, and joins a growing chorus of Republicans calling for Shinseki's ouster.
“General Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, has served his country with honor and integrity. No one doubts his dedication to our nation’s veterans," McCarthy said in a statement. "However, the current state of the VA is wholly unacceptable and has become a national embarrassment – it requires immediate action. I believe new leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs is imperative to fixing the wrong that this massive bureaucracy has done to the men and women we owe so much to. Therefore, today, I call on General Shinseki to do what is right and step aside as Secretary effective immediately.”
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has refrained from calling for Shinseki to resign, but said Thursday that he is "getting a little closer."
Related: Boehner 'Getting a Little Closer' to Calling for Shinseki's Resignation Reid Signals Quick Action as Appropriators Back VA Firing Authority McCain Proposes Private Health Option for Veterans Obama Demands Improvements at VA, Won't Fire Shinseki