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Opening Statement of Hon. Corrine Brown, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for calling this hearing today.

This issue is very important to me as I represent part of Orlando, Florida.

Central Florida waited 25 years before the VA decided to put a VA Medical Center there earlier this year.

25 years. Too long for those men and women who have defended this country and the freedoms it holds dear.

25 years.  Too long for the oldest veteran population to wait for proper care.

25 years.  I do not want to have to wait for another 15 years for this hospital to open.

And New Orleans!

It has been over 2 years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Crescent City and devastated the city.  The employees at the VA Medical Center there performed heroically for the patients and evacuate everyone safely.  However, we are no closer to rebuilding the hospital now than we were 2 years ago.

I have heard good things about design-build- where the design and construction aspects are contracted for with a single entity known as the design-builder or design-build contractor. The design-builder is usually the general contractor, but in many cases it is also the architect or engineer.

This system minimizes the project risk and reduces the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project.

Why can’t the VA use these modern devices to speed up the process?

I look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses today.