Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman has doubled down on his call for the White House to fire the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.
Coffman, who sits on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, made the statement in a letter to President Donald Trump Wednesday. It continues his criticism of Shulkin, in the wake of a report by the VA Office of the Inspector General detailing Shulkin's personal travel using taxpayer dollars.
"After closely reviewing the IG report, and the findings that VA Secretary Shulkin and his staff misled ethics officials and lied to investigators, I have concluded that it is time for him to step down," Coffman said Feb. 14.
Coffman has long called for reform at the VA, and has been a vocal critic of the VA's handling of the long-delayed and over-budget VA Medical Center in Aurora. In today's letter, he urged the president to make Shulkin's replacement a "true outsider to the VA's bureaucracy."
The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs oversight committee suggested that VA officials misled Congress in testimony last month about the veterans hospital under construction in Aurora.
GOP Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe told Colorado Matters that his committee got conflicting testimony from VA officials about the services that will be housed in the new Aurora facility, and about cost overruns and constructions delays. Roe said he wants someone to be held responsible, but has stopped short of calling for Shulkin to step down.
"When someone comes and testifies in front of my committee here... I want the truth told. And I don't want to look up later and find out that the truth was not told... And I'm not just talking about making a mistake or not understanding a process. We've all done that. But I'm talking about coming up and deliberately misleading me."
Here's Coffman's letter: