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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Bilirakis Praises Passage of Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act

October 5, 2015
Press Release

Last week, the President signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2015 to extend the authorization for numerous Veterans Affairs programs related to health care, benefit services, homelessness programs, and more.

In addition to program extensions, this legislation authorizes the construction of a new bed tower at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, FL. The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital was built in 1971 and has seen many improvements due to the work and advocacy of Congressman Bilirakis. Bilirakis worked diligently to improve Veteran care while saving taxpayer dollars, ensuring that the VA funds are used efficiently.

"For years I have been working to secure the funding for this new bed tower by applying pressure to the VA Secretary both publically during committee hearings and privately in face to face meetings. In a letter to the VA in 2011, I noted that nearly half a billion dollars could be saved by building a new bed tower instead of renovating the current structure,” said Bilirakis. “Thankfully, the VA agreed - a win for our veterans and a win for taxpayers."

“The Veterans in my area have waited patiently for these improvements. This legislation will help bring about more positive changes to improve care for Veterans and their families,” added Bilirakis. “As Vice Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs committee, I have worked diligently to ensure our Veterans’ needs are met.  This legislation continues our efforts to give Veterans the care and resources they have earned and deserve.  I am proud to see this bill become law and I vow to continue working to help our nation’s true American heroes.”

Read the Congressman’s 2011 letter to the VA here.

Learn more about the Congressman’s efforts to help Veterans here.