Bill to fund construction of VA facilities, including a spinal cord injury center in Dallas, awaiting president’s signature

Congressman Colin Allred speaks to U.S. House of Representatives on importance of the Major Medical Facility Authorization Act. – Photo courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives

 

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Major Medical Facility Authorization Act, led by Congressman Colin Allred, TX-32, passed the House Tuesday with bipartisan support with a vote of 413-7.

The bill authorizes several Veterans Affairs construction projects funded in fiscal year 2021, including a spinal cord injury center in Dallas. Allred’s latest work to support VA facilities comes just over a year after he secured the new Garland VA Medical Center. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

Allred, a member of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, gave a speech on the House floor Monday about the importance of the bill as part of fulfilling the promise we as a nation make to every generation of veterans and urged his colleagues to support its passage.

“As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq come to an end, as a nation, we are reminded of our profound and sacred commitment to ensure each and every one of our veterans gets the support, services and care they need when they return home,” Allred said in his speech. “This bill will create jobs by authorizing the construction of several major VA medical facilities across the country. Like our veterans’ service and sacrifice, our commitment to them must be sacred.”

The Dallas project, currently underway, will construct a 30-bed Long Term Care Spinal Cord Injury Center, with the capacity to expand to 60 beds. In addition to providing long-term care, the center will provide a residential setting in which highly dependent or medically complex veterans could live on a long-term basis, receiving the specialized environment, staff skills and equipment that they require.

Allred was joined by a group of cosponsors including Reps. Kim Schrier, M.D., D-Wash., Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., and Mike Levin, D-Calif. The bill is a companion to S.B. 1910, introduced by Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

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