08 Jun VA Construction Plans Delayed
According to the Sacramento Bee, there is a proposed bill on the table that would authorize hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent on construction at several Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities around the country. These facilities would undoubtedly improve the level of care that our country provides to disabled veterans. However, veteran advocacy groups have opposed the bill so forcefully that the proposed legislation has been put on hold. That’s right – groups of veterans are opposing a bill that would provide funding for major medical facility projects of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Why Are Veteran Advocacy Groups Opposing The Proposed Legislation?
Several veteran advocacy groups, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans Group, have stepped forward to oppose the bill. But why would veteran groups be against more funding for the VA? Essentially, the advocacy groups are complaining to lawmakers that the proposed legislation would actually result in reduced cost of living benefits for veterans due to the bill’s funding structure.
The Disabled American Veterans Group argues that this bill would end up depriving sick and injured veterans of more than $1.6 billion due to a clause in the legislation’s funding plan that would round down the percentage increase in veteran cost of living benefits. The organization argues that the 10-year cost of living adjustment that is built into the bill would be the biggest reduction in veteran benefits that Congress has sought in long time. Additionally, the Veterans of Foreign Wars opposes the bill because veterans would end up footing the bill with their disability compensation. These vocal veteran advocacy groups are not opposed to the VA’s construction plan to build more medical facilities, they simply want Congress to come up with a different way to pay for it.
Construction Projects Provided For In The Bill
If the political struggle between funding the bill and protecting veterans’ benefits can be overcome, the legislation would provide for construction to take place at VA medical facilities across the country, including construction projects in South Carolina. Some of the bill’s key construction plans are highlighted below:
- Build outpatient clinics in several cities across California.
- Improve the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Campus in order to house and educate veterans.
- Fund construction projects in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and our home state of South Carolina.
Will The Bill Become Law?
At this point it is anyone’s guess whether or not this dispute will be resolved soon. No estimates or timelines have been given, but a committee member from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has simply stated that the bill is on hold and that he is looking forward to hearing ideas the advocacy groups that oppose the funding of the bill about how to move forward without reducing VA benefits.
How Can We Help?
If you are a South Carolina veteran and would like assistance with your veteran disability claim contact the Klok Law Firm LLC for assistance. Our experienced veterans’ disability lawyers are happy to help you and can be reached by calling (843) 216-8860.