Today, Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) announced that she was named Democratic Ranking Member of the House Committee of Veterans Affairs.
In a statement Brown said…
“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for the 114th Congress, and I wholeheartedly appreciate the support of my Democratic colleagues. I am very much looking forward to serving our nation’s veterans in this new position and working to make sure these men and women get the care and benefits they earned through their service to our nation.
During the upcoming session, some of the key issues I plan to address in committee include fully implementing the Veterans’ Access, Care and Affordability Act, and ensuring that our nation’s brave, returning soldiers have all the resources they need to transition to civilian life. I will also continue my advocacy to get all of the VA Medical Centers opened as soon as possible.”
The last point is one that has the attention of all Veterans in Central Florida. The new VA Hospital at Lake Nona has experienced delays due to disputes between contractors and the VA. It was originally suppose to open in 2012.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has had a very difficult 2014. A waiting list scandal in Arizona that was potentially connected to a death in the area, and backlogs of claims stretching into the hundreds of thousands, caused the resignation of Eric Shinseki. Since then, the new Chairman Bob McDonald has been working with John Mica (R-Winter Park) to ensure the new facility at Lake Nona opens next year and that the clinics at Lake Baldwin and Orange City remain open and operating at an efficient level to meet the region’s needs.
Brown who’s district stretches from Jacksonville to Orlando has been mostly absent during the process.