House Speaker Paul Ryan is calling on Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald to "fix" the fiasco that has resulted from his comparing long wait times at VA hospitals to a trip to Disneyland. But he stopped short of calling on McDonald to resign.
"I don't know if he should resign but he should clarify his comments and show some empathy for the veterans he is supposed to serve," Ryan said, adding that McDonald's comments were "disgusting" and "beyond the pale."
Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the former House majority leader, called on McDonald to step down.
McDonald said during a meeting with reporters on Monday that wait times were not an accurate measure of the services delivered to veterans. Instead, the measurement should focus on satisfaction with the services.
"When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?" McDonald said.
Ryan was asked if he endorsed Blunt's move, but he did not go as far as calling for McDonald to step aside, even though he believes McDonald lacks "the proper empathy" for the job.
Ryan said McDonald needs to take action.
"I don't know how he's going to fix it, but he needs to fix it," Ryan said.