Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens has sent a letter to both Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt in what appears to be a blistering response to a correspondence they jointly sent to him. Greitens letter opens with a sharp sarcastic statement.
“It’s good to see some signs of life out of Congress. A lot of us back home have been wondering what you’ve been up to.”
Greitens goes on in the letter to recount the timeline of his office’s response to allegations of mistreatment at the state run St. Louis Veterans Home. The timeline tracks with a timetable the governor described in a statement to Missourinet late Tuesday night.
In the release, he told Missourinet he had initially responded to the mistreatment allegations back in July by instructing the Missouri Veterans Commission to perform an investigation.
When the commission was unable to find evidence confirming the allegations, Greitens said he ordered the state Department of Public Safety to conduct an inspection. When that probe failed confirm wrongdoing, the governor said he turned to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which also found the home to be following all federal standards.
In the Tuesday night statement, Greitens claimed he had ordered Veterans Commission to conduct a fourth investigation.
Greitens letter to McCaskill and Blunt puts forth the same timeline, but goes on to slam the Senators for being Washington insiders.
“We don’t need more meaningless letters from career politicians,” said Greitens. “What we need is action. After all that time in Washington, both of you should have some pull there.”
Greitens goes on to direct the Senators to take action. ”Get to work helping veterans, and fix the broken bureaucracy that fails our veterans and their families.”
The governor used similar language when criticizing fellow Republicans in the state legislature this year when he referred to them as “career politicians”.
The governor’s Tuesday night release to Missourinet followed the joint letter sent to him earlier that day from Blunt and McCaskill, in which they joined Lieutenant Governor Mike Parsons in calling for a full investigation into the facility.
The joint correspondence requested for Greitens to provide the Senators with a copy of the September 2017 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report that found the St. Louis home “in compliance with all VA standards”.
In Greitens letter back to the Senators, he told them they would find it if they Googled “St. Louis Veterans Home Survey Report VA”. “It’s the second link down,” said Greitens. The directive actually brings up something different however; a May 2017 review by the VA Inspector General of how accurately veteran disability claims were being processed.
McCaskill’s spokesperson responded to Greitens letter by delineating which government oversees the St. Louis veterans home. “This is a state-run veterans facility. The governor should toughen up, accept the criticism, and fix it.”
McCaskill is a Democrat who is up for reelection next year.
Senator Blunt, a fellow Republican of Greitens, issued statement much less critical of the governor, while also pointing out that the St. Louis veterans home is state controlled.
“I agree with Governor Greitens that these allegations are deeply disturbing, and support his call for an investigation into this state-run veterans home, said Blunt. “I believe it is important that the investigation be conducted by an independent entity.