Louisiana Senator & Congressman Fight For Louisiana VA Clinics
It continues to be an uphill battle, but U.S. Senator David Vitter and Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany are still putting the pressure on the Veteran's Affairs Secretary to find out why two clinics in Louisiana are being delayed again.
Vitter and Boustany sent a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald detailing their frustration with the news that construction on new VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles has again been pushed back. This time to 2016.
Vitter and Boustany already secured funding for the two clinics in this year's veterans reform bill.
"We absolutely owe it to our veterans to provide them with the best and most accessible care possible. We're not going to let up until the VA completes these clinics."
The news was not even given to either man, but they found out about the later construction dates when they were announced during a town hall meeting in Lake Charles this week.
Originally, the Lafayette facility was slated to be finished by the Winter of 2015 or early 2016, and Lake Charles was suppose to be finished in the Summer of 2015. Now the VA says the Lafayette facility won't be ready until August of 2016 and Lake Charles in April of 2016.
"It's been six years since VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles were first promised to South Louisiana veterans. After Senator Vitter and I worked together to achieve authorization for the clinics earlier this year, veterans were optimistic they may finally see progress on construction of these long overdue facilities. However, this week's announcement these timelines will be pushed back an additional year is another setback for our veterans. The VA's track record on this issue is completely unacceptable. Senator Vitter and I demand to know why and how this happened, and we won't let up until shovel hits dirt on these facilities."