Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-South Louisiana), released the following statement after recently writing separate letters to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki and House Leadership, Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, seeking definitive answers to questions promoting veterans health care in South Louisiana:
"Once again, veterans in South Louisiana are forced to suffer because of bureaucratic delays. The letters outline an issue centering around a disagreement between the VA and both the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office. The groups are arguing over methods at arriving at cost estimates for leases. The OMB seeks to reclassify the lease agreements as "capital' versus "operating' leases. This will require Congress to account for the full 20 years of the lease, an unprecedented change in which these leases are approved.
"The bottom line is language authorizing veterans clinics in South Louisiana should already be law but is not because of incompetent bureaucrats within the VA. This language should have been included in last year's authorization bill for these projects. Unless an agreement is reached, further delays will be inevitable for the clinics in South Louisiana. For that reason, I am appealing to both VA Secretary Shinseki and House Leadership to honor the promises made to veterans in South Louisiana."