Murkowski Votes for Military Construction, VA Improvements

Bill Means $335 Million in Work, Requires VA to Submit Report on Its Alaska Operations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Moments ago, Senator Murkowski cast a vote for the FY12 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill (H.R. 2055) that passed out of an appropriations subcommittee she serves on last month. Senate passage will give a degree of certainty to contractors in Alaska and help make certain that there are no lapses in Alaska Veteran care.

“Alaska’s construction seasons are short, and it was important this bill be passed so the contracting process for critical future projects not skip a beat,” said Murkowski.  “When it is conference with the House of Representatives version and signed into law, it also will begin the much-needed examination of the shortcomings of the Department of Veterans Affairs work for Alaska’s 77,000 men and women who need care because of their service to our country.”

Language inserted by Murkowski into the appropriations bill raises the bar on the Department of Veterans Affairs and requires new benchmarks be considered when determining whether vets will be required to fly to Seattle. Murkowski’s language also calls for two reports in the next year on progress made to reduce the number of Alaska vets required to travel outside for medical care.

In addition to the progress being made in securing health care relief for Alaska’s veterans, the Senate bill directs $335 million dollars to needed military construction work statewide, including:

  • The next phase of the Aviation Task Force Complex at Eielson Air Force Base
  • The long-awaited fitness facility at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson
  • The Cold Weather Maritime Training Facility