(CNN) – Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki will testify next Thursday before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, CNN has learned.
Shinseki is under fire from some congressional Republicans and veterans groups for the mounting backlog of health care cases at the VA and, specifically, allegations that veterans died while on a secret waiting list at the Phoenix VA hospital, which was first reported on by CNN.
Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, called Shinseki on Wednesday and asked him to appear, according to Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs.
The invitation is in contrast with the Republican-led House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena the VA secretary for emails and other documents related to the Phoenix allegations. The House subpoena does not require Shinseki to appear before the committee.
The Senate hearing is entitled, “The State of VA Healthcare.” Other witnesses are likely, Briggs said, including a witness Republicans can invite on their own.