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SOTU Scoop
May 22nd, 2014
05:07 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, May 22, 2014.

1. VA scandal. The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee says delayed medical appointments and fraudulent bookkeeping at VA facilities are "just the tip of the iceberg" of troubles plaguing the Veterans department. "We've received some information and some tips that will make what has already come look like kindergarten stuff," Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), told CNN. Miller's committee invited three top VA officials to appear before the panel Thursday but they told Miller they were unable to make it. Meanwhile pressure is growing on the White House to take dramatic action. "So many Americans now turn on the evening news just to be sickened by the steady drip, drip from the Obama administration's growing Veterans' scandal," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

2. Secretary Shinseki. The man who some Republicans as well Democrats are calling to be ousted says he hasn't offered his resignation to President Obama.  When asked by a reporter whether he has offered to step down, Eric Shinseki responded "no."  The VA Secretary met Thursday with Senate's number two Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois. "I came here to do one thing, take care of veterans and families," Shinseki said after the meeting. "We've run hard for five years and I think we have good things to show for it. There is more to be done." (Watch Candy's exclusive interview with Shinseki in 2013 on what he said they were doing to correct the problems at the VA.)

3. Immigration reform. It seems to be going nowhere fast and the Senate's top Democrats are issuing a challenge to House Republicans. "Let's pass immigration reform today and make it take effect at the beginning of 2017. If Republicans don't trust President Obama, let's give them a chance to implement a bill under President Rand Paul or President Theodore Cruz," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said if the House doesn't pass immigration reform during the six-week window between the last Republican primary and August recess, "the president will have no choice but to act on his own."

4. Pigskin politics. Members of the Senate are stepping into the controversy over the name of Washington's NFL team. Fifty senators, all Democrats, have signed a letter urging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to take action if the team continues to use the name Redskins. "Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports," the letter said. The term "redskin" is offensive to many Native Americans, but team owner Daniel Snyder has vowed not to change the name, saying it is an important tradition to fans.

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