Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Improvements in New Construction for Veterans Facilities Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the House of Representatives passed the
Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011 (H.R.
2646—as amended), with a vote of 412-3. The Veterans Health Care
Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011 ensures funding for VA
hospital construction projects and medical facility leases in FY2012,
as well as extends special at-need programs for homeless veterans,
which are set to expire at the end of this fiscal year, September 30,

"The extension of these programs will provide comprehensive supportive
services to help homeless and at-risk veterans find permanent housing,
overcome substance use and other issues, gain meaningful employment,
and put them on the path to being productive, successful members of
our society," stated Rep. Bill Johnson, Chairman of the Subcommittee
on Oversight & Investigations.

Construction projects include seismic corrections to VA medical
facilities in Seattle, Washington, West Los Angeles, California, St.
Louis, Missouri, and San Juan, Puerto Rico; major construction at
facilities in Palo Alto, California, and Fayetteville, Arkansas; and
the expansion of construction projects in Orlando, Florida. The
legislation also includes VA lease authorizations for outpatient
clinics in Columbus, Georgia, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Rochester, New
York, Salem, Oregon, San Jose, California, South Bend, Indiana, and
Springfield, Missouri. All of the projects were requested by the
Administration and vetted by the Committee to ensure that only
projects that were the highest in priority were advanced.

"The VA provides high quality medical care and services to our honored
veterans through an extensive and diverse portfolio of medical
facilities," Johnson said. "Congress and the Administration have an
obligation to ensure that this national infrastructure is
appropriately maintained."

Full or partial funding for all of the projects has either been
appropriated, or will soon be appropriated.

"I am pleased by the dedication and efficiency of this Committee in
meeting the needs of our veterans," stated Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman
of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "Through this legislation
we ensure that VA medical facilities will continue to meet the needs
of America's veterans, today, and tomorrow."

It is expected that following this vote, the Senate will act to take
up H.R. 2646—as amended, to ensure the legislation is presented to the
President for signature prior to the end of the fiscal year.

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, please visit:


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