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House GOP Pushes Obama on VA Scandal

HINES, IL - MAY 30:  A sign marks the entrance to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on May 30, 2014 in Hines, Illinois. Hines,  which is located in suburban Chicago, has been linked to allegations that administrators kept secret waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals so hospital executives could collect bonuses linked to meeting standards for rapid treatment. Today, as the scandal continued to grow, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized in public and then resigned from his post.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HINES, IL - MAY 30: A sign marks the entrance to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital on May 30, 2014 in Hines, Illinois. Hines, which is located in suburban Chicago, has been linked to allegations that administrators kept secret waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals so hospital executives could collect bonuses linked to meeting standards for rapid treatment. Today, as the scandal continued to grow, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized in public and then resigned from his post. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)Scott Olson / Getty Images

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Calling the Veterans Affairs scandal a “national disgrace,” House Republicans are telling President Barack Obama “to personally take action in order to make things right for those who have served.”

In a letter to the White House, House Speaker John Boehner and his top three lieutenants write that Obama should present short- and long-term solutions to the problems that have long plagued the VA, “even if it means shaking up the current bureaucracy and rethinking the entire system.”

The GOP members want Obama to push for Senate passage of a bill that would ease the firings or demotions of top VA officials and to back a GOP-sponsored plan to “address veterans who are waiting for care across the country” – or present an alternative proposal.

The letter is signed by Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.

The effort could serve to redirect some attention to the Veterans Affairs scandal after it was largely pushed off the front pages due to Saturday’s prisoner swap – and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation. The administration has said it wants to find a permanent replacement for Shinseki soon.

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