Sandy Adams has been “out front” trying to find answers for local veterans regarding the delays of the Orlando VA Hospital construction.
Adams along with a few other local house representatives from Central Florida got the Congressional hearing they requested, and today started asking the hard questions to project supervisors. This hospital is badly needed for the growing veterans population here in the region, and it’s great to see our lawmakers addressing concerns and demanding accountability for these long delays.
Here is a release from the Congresswoman and some video footage of the hearing.
Representative Sandy Adams (FL-24) attended the House Committee on Veterans Affairs’ hearing “From the Ground Up: Assessing Ongoing Delays in VA Major Construction” to get answers on the Orlando VA Medical Center construction delays. Adams, whose district includes the new medical center, has been vigilant about getting to the bottom of the costly delays and recently sent a letter to Chairman Jeff Miller requesting a hearing on the issue. During the hearing, Adams had some tough questions for Dr. Robert Petzel, the Under Secretary for Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Representative Adams: So Dr. Petzel, just to recap, we have two separate federal laws regarding VA construction projects that you are not complying with. Next, we have a GAO report that you are using under-qualified people to do analysis on these projects which were recommended; three major changes in the VA, which you say you have started to implement, but to my knowledge from listening today they have not been given to this committee. And then, finally, I have about 300,000 veterans in the Central Florida area that are paying every single day for the VA’s incompetence. So tell us why VA is choosing to ignore federal law and Congress, and who should I hold responsible for the gross mismanagement of the Orlando VA facility?
Dr. Petzel: Responsibility for the Orlando VA hospital rests with us and with the federal government. There is, from my perspective, no single individual that you could, as you wish, blame for what has happened.
Representative Adams: Well, I just want to leave you with one thing: Our veterans deserve the care and they need this facility to come online. They have served our country well, they deserve this care. And I look forward to hearing more about your agency getting this facility back on track and completed as quickly as possible for their benefit, our veterans.
Well said Ma’am