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VA groups slam Burr over Shinseki letter

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Richard BurrSen. Richard Burr and several veterans' groups continued swiping at each other throughout the weekend over the allegations plaguing Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

The scuffle was set off when the North Carolina Republican sent an open letter to veterans, accusing many of the veterans' service organizations who testified before the VA committee earlier this month of being "more interested in defending the status quo within VA, protecting their relationships within the agency, and securing their access to the Secretary and his inner circle."

With the exception of the American Legion, veterans groups at the hearing told the committee they felt removing Shinseki would do little to change the problems within the culture of the VA that led to health center staff keeping secret wait lists to disguise the length of time veterans waited for care. Burr is among a group of primarily Republican lawmakers who have called for Shinseki's resignation, a position that has been rejected by President Obama, Speaker Boehner and others.

In response to Burr's letter, Veterans of Foreign Wars sent a blistering response of their own accusing Burr of being "dishonorable" and "grossly inappropriate."


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