In recent tours of the Orlando VA construction site, it was obvious that design deficiencies and excessive change orders have created extensive delays and have handcuffed the timely delivery of this critical project. This facility is a necessary support system to the men and women who have heroically sacrificed for the safety and security of our nation. It is our duty to provide a medical facility that offers state of the art medical care. The continued construction delays are a disservice to the more than 300,000 Central Florida veterans and their families who deserve to have promises made turn into promises kept.
My top concern is the continued mismanagement of the construction on the part of the VA. The Veterans' Affairs management team needs to work diligently to ensure that cost overruns and change orders can be contained while making certain the project timelines are met for the benefit of our veterans and hardworking taxpayers.
Last week I sponsored an amendment that was unanimously accepted by my colleagues H.R. 5854, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. The amendment will require the VA to employ a Director of Construction that meets the legal education and experience requirements necessary to complete much-needed construction projects. Click here to read my letter to Veterans' Affairs Secretary Shinseki regarding my amendment.
Veterans in Central Florida have waited too many years for a new full service medical facility to meet their healthcare needs. This amendment will help correct future mismanagement of the construction process by having an experienced Director of Construction and Facilities Management who has 1) a degree in architecture or engineering and 2) professional experience in construction management. These two requirements are already in current law and following the law will help ensure our nation's heroes have the medical care they deserve in a timely manner.
Congressman Webster's floor speech for his amendment requiring qualified leadership to oversee the timely completion of the Orlando VA Hospital. Watch the video.
Ensuring Central Florida veterans and their families receive the well deserved and necessary healthcare services should be our top priority. It is my honor to serve the people of Central Florida as your U.S. Representative.
Member of Congress