HOUSE PASSES BILL BY REP. LIEU TO RESTORE WEST L.A. VA AS BEACON OF SERVICE TO VETERANS

September 12, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5936, the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016.  The legislation incorporates the full text of H.R. 3484, a prior bill introduced by Congressman Lieu to authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to use enhanced-use leases at the West LA VA campus.  Enhanced-use leases are critical to the Master Plan.  Today’s legislation, authored by Representatives Lieu and Jeff Miller, allows the VA to implement the campus’ Master Plan with enhanced-use leases.

“I am pleased the House of Representatives passed the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016, which authorizes the VA to implement the Master Plan for the West L.A. VA campus.  Today represents a giant leap forward in restoring the property to the Old Soldiers’ Home it was always intended to be.  If enacted, this legislation will enable the VA to construct 1,200 units of housing for homeless veterans at the West L.A. VA and offer new robust services on the campus such as vocational training, recreation and spiritual support.  The legislation also ensures that all leases on the campus principally benefit Veterans and strengthen the partnership between the VA and leaseholders.”

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald also issued the following statement on the passage of H.R. 5936:

"Today, the House of Representatives took an important step towards revitalizing our West L.A. VA Medical Center campus and truly making it a home for our most vulnerable homeless Veterans.  Together, we have made tremendous progress in Los Angeles bringing at-risk and homeless veterans into care and providing them the services they need to have a roof over their head and a path to rebuild their lives. We are grateful to Congressman Lieu and Senators Feinstein and Boxer for their partnership and for bringing this legislation forward. We look forward to the Senate passing legislative language on West L.A. as well."

Congressman Lieu offered additional comment as well:

“I want to acknowledge the leadership of VA Secretary McDonald and the tireless work of his team this past year in developing the Master Plan.  I also want to thank Senator Dianne Feinstein for her leadership in authoring companion legislation in the U.S. Senate, and House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller and Acting Ranking Member Mark Takano for helping to guide this legislation to passage in the House.  I am confident Sen. Feinstein will now take this legislation across the finish line in the Senate.”

“Finally, I want to recognize the contributions of vital local stakeholders, including veterans, veterans service organizations, the plaintiff partners, providers, and the community for their collaborative effort and unprecedented support this past year.  Without this cooperation, the Master Plan and progress on this legislation would not have been possible.  Today’s actions help us move forward on our unwavering mission to honor the debt we owe our nation's veterans."

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