Sunday, September 27, 2015

Isakson Statement on VA Authorization Legislation


Senator Johnny Isakson is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Committee and his office issued  the following Friday:

Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
Friday, September 25, 2015
Lauren Gaydos, 202-224-9126
Isakson Statement on VA Authorization Legislation
Bill authorizes completion of the Denver VA Medical Center construction project
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today released the following statement regarding Senate passage of legislation to authorize the extension of programs at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), including authorizing the completion of the Denver VA medical center:
“From the beginning, the Denver hospital project has been about serving our veterans in Colorado – while also protecting taxpayers and holding those responsible for this catastrophic failure accountable. It would be a mistake to let this hospital sit unfinished while there are veterans who need care. This legislation will not only finish the construction project for good, but it will do so in a fiscally responsible way that uses money from the VA’s bloated administrative budget.
“While I’m happy to see this project finally completed, we must do everything we can to ensure that a construction disaster of this scale never happens again. This legislation mandates that any VA construction project over $100 million is turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers – a much-needed change that should have been standard operating procedure in the first place. The VA must get out of the construction business and back into the business of taking care of veterans.”
The legislation authorizes the appropriation of $625 million for the Denver VA medical center. That money will be transferred to the project through the FY16 Continuing Resolution.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 114th Congress.

Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate VA Committee since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as more than 750,000 veterans.