Senator Bernie Sanders, a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson:
"The veterans secretary is one of the most important jobs in our government, especially during a time of war. In selecting a new secretary, I hope President Bush chooses someone who can handle the enormous challenges facing the department.
"Veterans in this country and their families need an advocate, not an adversary. They need someone committed to ending the waiting lines for health care and other services in Vermont and across this country, someone committed to opening the doors of the VA to all veterans, and someone who will make sure that service members returning from combat and their families get the care they deserve.
"As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I will look very closely at the president's nominee to replace Secretary Nicholson to make sure that these qualifications are met and that the nominee is ready to work with America's veterans and members of Congress to improve the care that the Department of Veterans Affairs provides."