Today, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued the following statement following reports that a second Veterans Affairs (VA) official has resigned over wasteful conference spending following an Inspector General report. The Committee has made a query to the VA about these reports.
"There is an evident leadership crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs that is distracting from its core mission of providing timely assistance to our nation's heroes," said Chairman Issa. "When outrageous spending abuses at General Services Administration conferences were first brought to light, it seemed unlikely that GSA was the only government agency was abusing taxpayer dollars. We now know that the Veterans Affairs Department also failed to exercise proper stewardship over the American people's money. While the head of the GSA resigned so that her agency could begin rebuilding lost trust, the parade of VA officials slowly stepping down over several months without accepting responsibility is a troubling sign that the VA is not yet positioned to move beyond this abuse."
On August 20th, 2012, the Oversight Committee sent a letter to Secretary Shinseki when Americans discovered that the VA was throwing lavish conferences, with at least $762,000 in wasteful conference expenses, including a General Patton parody video that cost almost $50,000.