Cornyn Calls on Obama to Withdraw VA Nominee over Waitlist Scandal

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) demanded Tuesday afternoon that President Barack Obama withdraw his nominee to replace outgoing Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary of Health Robert Petzel, arguing that Petzel’s replacement oversaw staff accused of committing the very abuses that prompted Petzel’s resignation.

“Instead of nominating a reformer from outside the VA system who can bring fresh leadership as the next Under Secretary for Health—a key position responsible for overseeing the VHA—you have appointed Dr. Jeffrey A. Murawsky, a career administrator whose own tenure at the VA raises serious concerns,” Cornyn wrote. “[F]rom February 2010 through February 2012, Dr. Murawsky directly supervised Sharon Helman, the current director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System who has been placed on administrative leave due to similar allegations of secret wait lists and resulting veteran deaths there.”

Petzel’s resignation has failed to satiate critics of the VA, as he had already planned on retiring later this year.

[h/t The Journal]

[Image via Christopher Halloran /]

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