A pair of Republican senators are calling on Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald to resign Tuesday following his controversial comparison of veteran wait times to wait times at Disney.
Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa each issued statements pushing for McDonald to vacate his position Tuesday amid backlash over the VA secretary's remarks.
"Secretary McDonald's preposterous statement is right out of Never Never Land," Blunt said in a statement. "I call on him to resign because it's clear he cannot prioritize getting our veterans the healthcare they deserve and have earned in a timely manner."
McDonald faced widespread criticism from both sides of the aisle Monday after he told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that the VA did not consider wait times to be a "valid" measure of a veteran's experience with the agency.
"Dismissing wait times when veterans can often wait months for an appointment is negligent and a clear sign that new leadership is needed at the VA," Blunt said.
The VA has struggled to bounce back from a 2014 controversy involving long delays in healthcare. Although 110 VA facilities around the country were found to have kept secret patient waiting lists to cover up long wait times, only three VA officials were ever fired for their involvement in the scheme.
"It's no secret that there is deep corruption within the VA system, leading to more failure and abuse," Ernst said. "Secretary McDonald is at the helm, and instead of taking charge to clear out bad actors, he has stood idly by. Any government agency or organization takes on the attitude of their leadership, and Secretary McDonald has been too willing to look the other way."
"We simply cannot allow the misconduct and poor care to continue without repercussions," she added. "That's why today, I am calling for Secretary McDonald's resignation immediately."