A top White House aide says President Obama is not happy over the delays at Veterans Affairs hospitals.
DENIS MCDONAUGH: "The president is madder than hell ... the president is demanding that we get to the bottom of the exact allegations that you're talking about as it relates to whether veterans are getting the timely access to care that they have earned." (Via CBS)
That was White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on CBS "Face the Nation." The backlog at Veterans Affairs for benefits requests has been a persistent problem for the Obama administration.
JAKE TAPPER: "The number of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits jumped from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 this past December." (Via CNN)
Now, they're dealing with even more issues at the VA. An internal probe found clerks at a VA clinic in Colorado were told to falsify records to reflect a smaller backlog. Dozens of veterans have died in the last few years while waiting for benefits. On Friday, the VA's undersecretary for health care stepped down amid the controversy. (Via USA Today, The Guardian)
The secretary himself, Eric Shinseki, has been under increasing scrutiny from Congress. In testimony this week, he used language similar to McDonaugh's.
SHINSEKI: "It makes me mad as hell." (Via C-SPAN)
The backlog issues have long been a source of public frustration with the VA, and the department's disorganization has brought high-profile embarrassment for the Obama administration. (Via Boston Herald)
JON STEWART: "Is that the VA or an episode of hoarders?" (Via Comedy Central / "The Daily Show")
Secretary Shinseki has caught the brunt of the heat. Calls for his resignation have made headlines for months. (Via The Washington Post)
On CBS, McDonaugh said the president still has faith in Shinseki to resolve the VA's problems.