Immediate Release: 02/22/2018
Contact: Jake Lynn
The Center for American Homeless Veterans (CAHV) provisionally supports proposed House Bill 3169 (the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Workforce Improvement and Streamlining Act), but believes major additions to the bill will help reduce waste and increase accountability. This bill was prompted by the disastrous cost overruns at the new VA Hospital under construction in Aurora, Colorado. Once completed, the hospital is estimated to cost over $2 billion - more than three times the original estimate. Furthermore, the VA Inspector General reported that the Department’s Construction Chief was aware of the overruns as early as 2014, but failed to inform Congress.
CAHV supports the general purpose and thrust of the bill, i.e., establishing training and certification programs to address attrition of key personnel from the VA. We also support the provision that would accept veterans with appropriate degrees into acquisition internship programs, where they would gain valuable skills for future VA careers. However, we believe the bill can go much further toward preventing cost overruns and increasing cost efficiencies, without sacrificing quality of care to our nation’s veterans.
All the above additions are strongly suggested, to prevent boondoggles like Aurora, and ensure that our veterans (and not the VA or contractors) come first in spending decisions.
We call upon Congress to introduce and pass a revised House Bill 3169 and take other prudent steps to reduce waste and provide close oversight of all VA spending.
Since 1993, The Center for American Homeless Veterans has harnessed the power of the media to rally public support on behalf of American Veterans. CAHV has sponsored 196 programs and forums, with well over 100 Members of Congress speaking at its events. The Center for American Homeless Veterans has supported local homeless veteran transitional facilities by organizing and conducting programs for public support in their local areas, as well as through earned media.
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