(NBC News) Lawmakers have issued a subpoena to find out who ordered a backup list of patients needing care destroyed.
The Veterans Affairs Department is under fire – as many as 40 vets died while waiting for treatment.
Every Democrat and Republican on the voted to issue that subpoena. They’re looking for answers on why so many vets had to wait so long to see a doctor.
Lawmakers are giving the VA until May 19 to turn over emails and documents about who destroyed a “secret waiting list” at the Phoenix VA Hospital.
Steven cooper was a doctor there, and had stage four prostate cancer. The VA said he had to wait three months for treatment. “Had I stayed the course at the VA I would have been dead,” said Steven Cooper, Veteran & Cancer Patient.
“All the people who are part of this should be held accountable, because it’s a crime,” said Sally Eliano, Daughter of Deceased Veteran.
President Obama spoke about the controversy last night: “If we are serious about making sure that our veterans are properly cared for[.] Then we’ve got to fix Congress,” said President Barack Obama.
Congress – Democrats and Republicans – are backing VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. The American Legion wants him to resign. “I don’t believe that changing someone at the top is going to actually get to the solutions that many of us are looking for,” said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.
“We have to get good information before we start chopping people’s heads off,” said Senator Jon Tester, (D) Montana.
The White House says the VA’s backlog of cases has been cut in half since last year.
Shinseki’s ordered a review of all VA Hospitals. He is set to testify before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee next Thursday.