U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has asked for unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate to pass his legislation authorizing the completion of 27 veterans affairs (VA) outpatient clinics that have been delayed by bureaucratic errors from the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) and a recent decision by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The Lafayette and Lake Charles clinics are included. Vitter's legislation includes an offset to pay for the clinics.
"The VA clinics in Lafayette and Lakes Charles would have been built already if not for bureaucratic errors. And this isn't just an issue in Louisiana - veterans across the country on hold waiting for twenty-seven clinics," Vitter said. "There is no objection for this legislation from our side of the aisle, and no reason at all for anyone to object."
Vitter's standalone legislation would be offset by requiring the VA and U.S. Department of Defense to pool together to purchase prescription drugs. Recent reports estimate that this would save approximately $4.3 billion dollars. Democrats in the Senate have been blocking his legislation.
Vitter has secured language authorizing both clinics in two pieces of comprehensive veterans' legislation pending in the U.S. Senate, one sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and another sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). The Sanders bill failed today because it did not pass budget requirements. Vitter's standalone legislation is offset, and he will continue to push it to authorize the VA clinics.
Vitter has also introduced separate legislation to authorize the completion of the VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.