WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (Kan.) and U.S. Representative Mike Bost (Illinois) – Ranking Members of the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees – today released the following statements regarding the process to confirm commissioners to the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission.
“The VA MISSION Act gave Congress the duty of reviewing and confirming the President’s nominees for the AIR Commission,” said Sen. Moran. “I am disappointed that after more than a year delay, the committee will not be holding a confirmation hearing on the commissioners. This commission was designed to assess the 7,500 buildings the VA owns, leases and operates to determine how the buildings are being utilized, whether facilities need updating, the funding necessary to upgrade facilities, and how efficiently health care is being delivered to our veterans. Many of the VA’s facilities are empty, underutilized and severely outdated. We passed the VA MISSION Act to address these issues, but by refusing to confirm commissioners, we are essentially shutting down the work of the AIR Commission and possibly our only opportunity to fix this long-standing issue.”
“I am astonished by the announcement today that several Senators, including the Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, are refusing to fulfill their responsibility under the law to confirm members of the AIR Commission,” said Rep. Bost. “The MISSION Act was signed into law with broad support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and every major veterans service organization. It established an Asset and Infrastructure Review – or, AIR – process with nine Senate-confirmed Commissioners to recommend updates to VA’s failing medical care infrastructure. This process is vital for the future of modern, state-of-the-art VA care. It is wrong for these Senators to outright refuse to even consider the nominees put forth by the Biden Administration. This decision does an immense disservice to veterans and VA staff who will feel its repercussions for years to come.”
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