U.S. Senate Votes To Block Development of Los Angeles VA Campus
The Senate on Wednesday backed a measure by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from commercially developing the West Los Angeles Veterans Medical Center, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Feinstein's measure was written into a $109.2 million military spending bill (Friedman, Los Angeles Daily News, 9/5).
The Senate vote killed an amendment by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to strike Feinstein's language from the bill.
The Bush administration argued that commercial leasing of the site could generate $4 billion in revenue to be used to improve other veterans' facilities nationwide.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has introduced stand-alone legislation in the House to block development of the West Los Angeles veterans' facility (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 9/5).
At a public meeting scheduled for Thursday to discuss future plans for the campus, community members and local politicians are expected to speak out against a proposal to designate several buildings on the campus for "reuse" or demolition. The proposal is included in a report released in advance of the meeting.
Moreover, some local advocates have expressed concern that VA will disband a local advisory council for the campus after today's meeting to sidestep future public scrutiny.
Meanwhile, in a letter to outgoing VA Secretary Jim Nicholson, Waxman criticized the agency's agreements with private businesses regarding the West Los Angeles VA campus. Waxman has asked VA to provide documentation listing revenue from the agreements (Groves, Los Angeles Times, 9/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.