U.S. Sen. David Vitter announced today that legislation authorizing 27 VA clinics across the country, including the clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles, is likely to pass through the U.S. House of Representatives today. Vitter says he will be immediately pushing for a unanimous consent agreement in the Senate to pass the House bill, which was authored by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.).
"Bureaucratic errors at the VA threw these clinics into jeopardy in the first place," Vitter said. "It's absolutely crucial for Louisiana veterans to have both of these clinics. I'll be offering the House legislation up for unanimous consent in the Senate as soon as possible to expedite the process and not have to mess with a new Senate bill which could potentially slow down the process."
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.
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.