Great News for Kentucky's Veterans: McConnell Officially Secures $75 Million for New Louisville VA Hospital
VA Secretary approves McConnell's request of full funding for new facility
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake has informed him that he has agreed to his request and will allocate $75 million for the planning and design needed to build a new Louisville VA hospital.
Earlier this year, the Senate approved the FY 2009 Continuing Resolution (CR), which contained language requested by Senator McConnell directing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to obligate as much as it can spend within fiscal year 2009 for construction efforts of the Louisville VA hospital.
Following passage of the CR, Senator McConnell sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake urging the VA to fully fund construction efforts at the VA Hospital in Louisville for Fiscal Year 2009.
Yesterday, VA Secretary Peake sent a letter to Senator McConnell thanking him for his "continued commitment to providing veterans the health care and services they have earned and deserve." In the letter, Secretary Peake confirmed that the VA will spend the $75 million - Senator McConnell's original request - to build the new facility.
"This is great news for Kentucky's veterans," McConnell said. "I am delighted that the VA Secretary heard my concerns and understands the importance of this facility to Kentucky's veterans. This project has been a top priority of mine because it will help ensure that Kentucky's heroes receive the quality health care they deserve."
Earlier this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved Senator McConnell's request of $75 million to fund the development of the new facility, which was the maximum the VA could obligate for the project in FY '09. The funding originally included in the Senate bill was expected to not only be used for land acquisition and site preparation, but also for design work which should help accelerate the construction process. The House of Representatives requested $45 million for the project in its bill. The Conference Report directed the VA to obligate as much as it can spend in its Fiscal Year 2009 budget toward its top construction projects and to report back to Congress within 60 days.