CHARLOTTE – U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan criticized the Obama administration Friday for not doing enough to help military veterans and fix problems within the Veterans Administration, comments made just days before the president is scheduled to speak to the American Legion convention.
“The Obama Administration has not yet done enough to earn the lasting trust of our veterans and implement real and permanent reforms at the VA,” Hagan said in a statement. “I hope to hear the President address these challenges at the American Legion’s National Convention in Charlotte.”
A statement released from the White House Press Office on Friday said Obama will address the 96th annual national convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on Tuesday. The statement said more details will be made available in the next few days.
Hagan, a Democrat who will appear at the convention with Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, is an incumbent seeking re-election in November. She is being challenged by N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis. Both Hagan and Burr are scheduled to speak to the convention, but Hagan said she plans to talk to the president as well.
“I will be there to discuss some of the steps I want to see taken in Washington to uphold the commitment our government has made to North Carolina’s veterans,” Hagan said.
The Tillis campaign issued a statement saying Hagan was pointing a finger at the Obama administration to divert attention from what it said were the failures of her own efforts to help veterans.
The VA has been shaken by reports that veterans died while waiting for treatment and allegations that workers falsified records to cover up the delays – in some cases so the workers could collect bonuses.
The scandal forced out former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson served as acting secretary until Robert McDonald was sworn in last month.