Posted: Jun 27, 2013 11:07 AM
Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter today sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee leaders urging them to include both the Lafayette and Lake Charles VA clinics in their funding authorization bill next month. Vitter met with Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-N.C.) this week to discuss the matter and was able to get the commitment that at least the Lafayette clinic will be included, and they discussed continuing to push for the Lake Charles clinic too. "It's absolutely crucial for Louisiana veterans to have both of these clinics," Vitter said. "Both would actually be nearing completion, but because of bureaucratic mistakes committed by the VA, they were delayed significantly and pushed onto last year's VA funding bill, which then ran into the complication with brand new budget rules. The Senate VA Committee has a chance to get his right, and I'll be urging them to do just that." A recent ruling by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reversed authorization for twelve Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) clinics from last year's VA funding bill including Lafayette and Lake Charles. Vitter is working to get them both back on the list. Vitter also worked to include a provision into the National Defense Authorization Act during the Senate Armed Services Committee markup that would have addressed seven national VA clinics including the clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles, but his efforts were blocked by bureaucracy in the committees.