U.S. Sen. David Vitter today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Veteran's Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki demanding answers about more immediate action from the VA on providing specialties and services for Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana veterans.
"It's really ridiculous that the federal agency tasked with providing services for our veterans not only messes up the progress of the clinics, but they can't give us straight answers about the temporary services they'll make available," Vitter said. "We are going to keep holding their feet to the fire until the correct this blunder."
Yesterday, Vitter along with Reps. Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry joined (via videoconference) a VA Action Coalition meeting held in Lafayette. VA officials present at the meeting responded vaguely to questions from Vitter regarding temporary, leased, or donated space in Lafayette and Lake Charles, and promised a concrete answer within two weeks.
Click here to watch a video statement from Sen. Vitter.
The text of Vitter's letter is below.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Dear Mr. Secretary:
In light of the recently announced serious delay to the new Lafayette and Lake Charles VA Outpatient Centers, I request that the VA offer all specialties and services that will be available in those facilities as soon as possible in temporary, leased, or donated space in the two communities.
This request was discussed at some length last night at a veterans meeting which included VA officials and (by videoconference) Congressmen Boustany and Landry and myself. The VA officials responded vaguely that the VA would consider this. When I pressed for a more concrete answer, they promised one within two weeks.
I ask that you personally give us that concrete answer within two weeks. I also ask that it be in writing, it list all specialties and services that will eventually be in the new centers with a response for each regarding immediate availability in Lafayette and Lake Charles, and that the VA give the Louisiana congressional delegation weekly updates thereafter on providing these specialties and services and developing the new facilities.
United States Senate