WASHINGTON (WJLA) - President Obama has made clear he never blamed his Veterans Affairs Secretary for the problem, calling him a military hero who made progress in fixing the backlogs.
But Friday, President Obama acknowledged the political pressure for Eric Shinseki to resign had simply grown too great for the general to be effective.
"He has worked hard to investigate and identify the problems with access to care, but as he told me this morning, the VA needs new leadership to address them," Obama said Friday.
Earlier today at a conference for homeless veterans, Shinseki received a standing ovation from those gathered, as he apologized to all veterans for the problems and the controversy.
"This is something I rarely encountered in 38 years in uniform, so I will not defend it, because it is indefensible," Shinseki said.
Trying to move forward, the White House moved quickly to name Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson as the acting secretary - but both parties made clear, they still aren't satisfied.
"Until the President outlines a vision and an effective plan for addressing the broad dysfunction at the VA. today's announcement really changes nothing," said Republican Speaker John Boehner.
"One resignation is inadequate unless we get to the roots of the problem. And that's why I continue to call for a criminal investigation of possible wrongdoing at the VA," said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). "We need solutions, we gotta clean this up. The VA needs to work for our veterans."