Berkley Wins Ful Funding for Southern Nevada VA Medical Center
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today won approval from the House Veterans Affairs Committee for $406 million needed to construct Southern Nevada's first VA medical complex, which is scheduled to break ground later this year.
"This is a win for Nevada veterans and will help ensure that we receive the full $406 million needed to build the Valley's first VA hospital, outpatient clinic and long-term care facility. While our veterans have been promised these facilities, President Bush failed to include full-funding for the VA medical complex in this year's budget. My legislation serves as an insurance policy that says Congress will get the job done for Nevada veterans, with or without the support of the White House," said Berkley, in reference to H.R. 5815, the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Authorization Act of 2006. The legislation, which was passed this morning by Berkley's House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, authorizes $406 million to be spent on the Southern Nevada VA medical complex.
"I have already secured more than $250 million for this project, but I will not rest until we have every last cent in funding that is needed to turn this dream into a reality for our veterans," said Berkley. "As our brave men and women in uniform return from Iraq and Afghanistan, the need for VA medical services in Southern Nevada will only continue to rise and this new medical complex is desperately needed to replace the string of temporary clinics now serving Las Vegas Valley veterans," said Berkley.
Berkley noted that by the time the new VA medical center is opened, it will have taken nearly a decade to replace the Valley's only permanent VA facility, the A.D. Guy Clinic, which was closed in 2002.
"Veterans earn their VA benefits through their military service to our nation, and it is my duty to see that we honor our commitment to provide these heroes with the high-quality healthcare they have been promised," said Berkley. "They have waited long enough for this trio of VA facilities and we cannot afford to fall behind schedule because the funding is not in place."
Berkley has successfully secured more than $250 million in funding for the VA medical center to date, and authored legislation that transferred to the VA nearly 150 acres of federal land to house the complex. Total cost for the VA hospital, outpatient clinic and long-term care facility is slated at $406 million.