On Thursday, Senator McConnell sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs asking for a timeline of when a final decision will be made regarding the site of the new Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville.
Senator McConnell wrote, "I continue to take no position as to which site is preferable. It should not be up to lawmakers to make that decision. Rather, that is a matter that is best decided by the technical staff of the VA in close consultation with the local veterans community. I do, however, have concerns about when the final site selection will take place. It has been more than five years since the VA announced the new hospital and more than three years since I secured the initial funds for construction efforts. Therefore, I strongly urge you to provide me with a realistic timeline of when a final decision will be unveiled. Kentucky's brave veterans deserve no less."
A decision by the Department as to where the new facility would be built was to be made by September 2011. After that date came and went with no word from the Department, Senator McConnell contacted VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in October, to express his concerns with the delay in picking a site and again strongly urged him to make the site selection his top priority. Last week, in an apparent response to the Senator's letter, the Department announced that they had narrowed the choices to two locations.