CVA Statement on House Committee Advancing VA Asset Review Bill
Arlington, VA – Today, the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) voted to advance a critical Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) bill, the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2017 (H.R. 4243). The legislation would create a commission to make recommendations on the modernization and consolidation of VA facilities. The bill will now move to the full House and Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) is urging every member to support the legislation.
CVA Executive Director Dan Caldwell issued the following comment:
“Improving efficiency at the VA will allow the department to deliver a higher level of care to the veterans it serves. Resources that are currently being wasted on empty or underused facilities could be dedicated to improving the care and benefits our veterans receive. The VA must adapt to meet the needs of a changing veteran population and this bill represents a good start. We thank Chairman Roe and the members of the House VA Committee who voted to advance this legislation and call upon the full House to support this common-sense measure.”
The VA is one of the largest federal property-holding agencies, owning buildings covering more than 151 million square feet and leasing over 1,500 buildings costing more than $340.6 million annually in rent. Secretary Shulkin has testified in previous hearings that the VA has hundreds of empty or under-utilized VA buildings that cost the federal government $25 million annually to maintain.
For years, CVA has advocated for substantial reforms at the VA. In CVA’s Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce, the group proposes implementing a VA infrastructure realignment procedure under the recommendations of an independent nine-member panel.