U.S. Sen. David Vitter today commented on legislation that passed in the House of Representatives Veterans' Affairs Committee authorizing 27 VA clinics across the country, including the clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles, La. Vitter says he'll be pushing for a consent agreement in the Senate to pass the House bill. Yesterday, Vitter met with the nominee to be the Undersecretary of the Veterans Administration, Sloan Gibson, and conveyed that he expects this legislation to be passed by the House and the Senate by the end of the year. Vitter said that if it is, he'll support Gibson's nomination.
"Bureaucratic errors at the VA are what threw these clinics into jeopardy in the first place, but I'll continue fighting to see their completion," Vitter said. "It's absolutely crucial for Louisiana veterans to have both of these clinics. Both would actually be nearing completion already, but because of mistakes committed by the VA, they were delayed significantly and pushed onto last year's VA funding bill, which then ran into the complication with brand new budget rules. This legislation fixes that, and I'll be offering it up for unanimous consent in the Senate as soon as possible."
A recent ruling by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reversed authorization for twelve Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) clinics from last year's VA funding bill, including clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles. Vitter urged the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee to include both clinics in the committee's funding authorization bill.