Gardner Introduces Bill Authorizing a VA Hospital in Colorado Springs
Washington, D.C. – As part of his push to establish a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in Colorado Springs, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced legislation that would authorize construction of a VA Medical Center in Colorado Springs to serve El Paso County and surrounding areas. Gardner announced his push for a VA Hospital in Colorado Springs earlier this month, following a meeting in Aurora with the leadership of the Rocky Mountain VA Medical Center and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie.
“Our nation’s veterans deserve timely access to quality care, but I hear frequently from veterans in El Paso County about the need for additional access to services,” said Senator Gardner. “As the veteran population in El Paso County continues to experience rapid growth, the need for additional health care resources will only increase. I am incredibly proud of Colorado’s active duty military strength, courage, and bold vision for the future, and I will always fight to ensure our veterans receive access to the quality care they deserve.”
Last week, Gardner wrote to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to request that they move forward with the process to review and approve a VA Medical Center location in Colorado Springs.
Senator Gardner’s legislation would:
- Authorize construction of a VA Medical Center in Colorado Springs to serve El Paso County and surrounding areas.
- Require an assessment of the VA and Department of Defense’s ability to collaborate on this project and a subsequent partnership plan.
- Institute strict safeguards and accountability measures to make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the Aurora VA Hospital project to ensure responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars and quality healthcare services for Colorado veterans.
Background: Senator Gardner led the effort for the completion of the VA Hospital in Aurora:
- In Gardner’s first month in the U.S. Senate, he teamed up with fellow members of the Colorado delegation to introduce the Aurora VA Hospital Financing and Construction Reform Act of 2015, and much of the language Gardner authored was later included in legislation that provided funding to the Aurora hospital.
- Gardner was instrumental in pressing for the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to hold a field hearing in Colorado in April of 2015.
- In May 2015, Gardner worked to garner support for the passage of a short-term funding bill that would allow construction to continue after the project ran out of money.
- In September of 2015, the project once again was threatened to be shut down in the face of cost overruns. Gardner again secured the funding required to complete the hospital by working with leadership in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
- In July 2018, Gardner attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Rocky Mountain VA Medical Center in Aurora.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.
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