Arlington, VA – Today the House Veterans Affairs Committee is set to markup a major VA reform bill that would undertake a review of the VA’s current infrastructure. The VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2017 (H.R. 4243), would create a commission to make recommendations on the modernization and consolidation of VA facilities.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“The VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2017 represents an opportunity for the VA to improve the care it provides to our veterans. Veterans will benefit from a VA whose medical facilities and services are better aligned to meet the needs of a changing veteran population. This legislation is long overdue and is crucial to ensuring that the VA is equipped to better serve the veteran population of the future. We applaud Dr. Phil Roe for putting forward this bill and we urge all members of Congress to support it.”
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.