Three years ago when committee oversight and subsequent media reports uncovered that veterans around the country were facing unacceptable wait times for VA care, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (P.L. 113-146), which established the Choice Program and created an independent Commission on Care to take a comprehensive look at veterans’ access to VA health care and release a report with their recommendations for transforming the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). On June 30, 2016, the Commission on Care released its recommendations for improving VA health care, including a recommendation to review all of VHA’s assets through a robust capital asset realignment process.
On July 12, 2017, the full committee held an oversight hearing to assess VA’s capital asset needs, followed by a round table discussion on September 7, 2017 with members of Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and stakeholders. At the July hearing, former VA Secretary Anthony Principi highlighted the need for a full review of VHA’s assets and stated that without a realignment of VA medical facilities, “the VA will fail.” You can watch his testimony here. On October 12, 2017, the full committee held a legislative hearing to consider draft legislation entitled, the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Act of 2017.
After the hearings and roundtable, many changes were made to the legislation to address stakeholder concerns. On October 30, 2017, Chairman Roe wrote a letter to representatives from Veterans Service Organizations thanking them for their feedback and highlighting the changes made to the AIR Act as a direct result of their input. You can read the text of the letter here.
On November 3, 2017, Chairman Roe introduced H.R. 4243, the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Act of 2017. This legislation will be considered at a full committee markup on November 8, 2017.
Section by Section
Former Secretary Principi’s testimony
Press Release on Introduction
The American Legion
Concerned Veterans for America