Biden: U.S. 'behind' on caring for veterans
May 26th, 2014
07:51 PM ET
9 years ago

Biden: U.S. 'behind' on caring for veterans

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden said the United States needs to "get to the bottom" of the problems rocking the Department of Veterans Affairs at a Memorial Day event Monday.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and the Obama administration have come under fire over reports of excessively long waits for medical care for veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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"We owe you for what you've done for us," Biden said, alluding to the ongoing scandal. He was addressing a group of some 200 cyclists, including injured veterans, set to ride 325 miles from Washington to Virginia Beach, in the annual Road 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge.

"The government has a lot of obligations," the vice president continued. "The only truly sacred obligation we have before every other obligation that exists in this country is to equip those of you that we send into harm’s way and care for you when you come home and your families."

"That is our sacred obligation, and we're behind right now. The VA is having problems, and we've got to get to the bottom of it,' he added.

Biden: 'Assume every microphone is on'

Biden noted the government has expanded the eligibility for the VA over the past few decades, but he said "that is not a reason for misrepresentation along the line."

Caring for its veterans, Biden said, “is a long-term commitment this nation has to make.”

“Today, it seems, that we Americans have to recommit ourselves, not just with words but with our deeds, and you’re the inspiration for doing it to once again make sure that every single individual, the sacrifice you made is worthy of the people you made it for.”

Last week, the VA's Office of Inspector General said it was investigating 26 agency facilities over allegations of doctored waiting times.

A handful of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called on Shinseki to resign over the issue, but the White House has not called for the embattled secretary to step aside.

Related: Miller: VA issues 'much larger' than Shinseki

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Filed under: Joe Biden • Veterans
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Donald Rumsfeld's ... Lashes out at Hillary Clinton, John Kerry , Eric K. Shinseki

    Donald say's Apes could provide cost saving health care foe Veterans if trained properly. He also asked why men with no legs are complain about standing .

    Donald Rumsfeld / Paul Wolfowitz
    When Men were Men and had funny nic names .

    May 26, 2014 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  2. bill

    talk to your boss

    May 26, 2014 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. Name Uche Agonsi

    The issue is who takes responsibility of the situation.....the Vets who have encountering problems without reporting until this crisis stage, the Sec. who should not have known the situation without information, the media that shrill over any little development against the POTUS, even when they should face neglience for lagged information procurement, OR Mr.President who the GOPers now expect to perform the role of a "Seer" of every problem, icluding foreign problems, and who ironically has been at the forefront of alleviating the Vets' problems. There is also the GOPERS who really increased not only the Vet population with their unfunded wars, but also their sufferings with unreasonable budgetary cuts. The call is US voters' and the time is this midterm election.

    May 27, 2014 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  4. @RI_Roger

    This administration couldn't fix a problem if the solution was handed to them. Their mantra is to blame the previous administration, stall as long as possible to avoid any criminal prosecution in their administration and the pass the problem to the next administration. As the old saying goes, "you get what you voted for"..... and most likely we will do it again if we vote in another Democrat.

    May 27, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  5. TCP/IP

    Medical is covered but if you had no dental work done while you where in the service all they cover is pulling teeth.

    That should not be the standard practice – but let the US save a BUCK that way eh ?

    May 27, 2014 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  6. Hector Slagg

    Well Biden,
    You were in the Senate for some time and you are just now speaking about the issue? All your Liberal buddies voted and passed things like Medicare, Medicaid, and now Obama Care but forgot the military/Veterans? Go away!

    May 27, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  7. ED1

    One of the problems is your boss he knew about this back in 2008 said he would fix it just not in his term I guess.

    May 27, 2014 08:09 am at 8:09 am |