U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) fought for reforms for veterans during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday regarding changes in the military retirement system. Vitter specifically questioned administration officials from the Department of Defense on veterans' cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and the head of the Military Officers Association on how veterans' affairs clinics are authorized.
"Twenty-seven veterans' clinics nationwide have been in limbo -- including two in Louisiana, which should have been already built. This House bill, which passed 346 to 1, is very fiscally responsible and addresses the issue. I'm urging my colleagues to get this simple, non-controversial fix done so we can move forward with these VA community-based clinics," Vitter said. "Additionally, eliminating the cost of living adjustments for veterans should not be an option whatsoever."
A 2013 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 and has been pushing for further action.