GOP Senate leader endorses change in VA leadership

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top Republican says a leadership change may help resolve what he calls “dysfunction” at the Department of Veterans Affairs, following allegations of corruption and avoidable deaths at the veterans’ hospital in Phoenix.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says the tenure of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is “embarrassing” and that the agency is in “a stunning period of dysfunction.”

McConnell isn’t calling for Shinseki to step down, but says a change in leadership “might be a good thing.”

The White House says President Barack Obama remains confident in Shinseki.

Two Republican senators — John Cornyn of Texas and Jerry Moran of Kansas — have called for Shinseki to resign amid claims that up to 40 patients in Phoenix may have died because of delays in care.

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