WASHINGTON -

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released the following statement after Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki announced his resignation on Friday:  

"Secretary Shinseki has served our country with honor for decades. Though I believe that new leadership is necessary at the VA, I have the utmost respect for Secretary Shinseki's service and sacrifice. Throughout his career, he has strived to put the greater good above himself, including today.

“It is essential that we move forward with speed and focus to fix a badly broken VA. It is up to not just the new leadership at the VA, but also Congress to put our obligations to the veterans who have served our country first. I hope the Senate will revisit recent legislation to improve VA health care. Our veterans stood up for us, and now we have a responsibility to stand up for them.”