Capito, Rounds offer legislation to eliminate VA commission

U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) on May 24 cosponsored bipartisan legislation to eliminate the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) commission that is tasked with finding facilities that should be consolidated or realigned.

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are among the lawmakers who joined Sen. Capito and Sen. Rounds to introduce the Elimination of the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission Act, S. 4297, which would repeal the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2018 and end the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission. 

“Instead of increasing access to health services, the AIR Commission recommendations would reduce options for those who served our country,” Sen. Capito said. “Not only have I heard from countless veterans in West Virginia who are rightly concerned that they will have more difficulty getting the care they need, I’ve heard from our local leaders and providers that they may not be able to accommodate the changes being proposed.

“I’m proud to continue standing up for our veterans and helping lead the bipartisan effort to ensure these recommendations do not take effect,” she said.

Sen. Rounds called the AIR Commission “bad public policy” when he voted against it in 2018 and he said it hasn’t improved with age.

“This legislation threatens to close or eliminate services at VA facilities across South Dakota and the nation,” Sen. Rounds said. “The AIR Commission should be called the ERROR Commission. I will continue working to make certain veterans in South Dakota receive the care they have earned.”