CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s U.S. senators are among a dozen asking President Joe Biden to consult with officials state by state on the possible impact of recommendations of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission.
“The recommendations are overly focused on quantitative data that does not do enough to consider the impact the proposed changes would have on our Veterans, particularly elderly Veterans,” said the senators. The group includes West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Republic Shelley Moore Capito.
The VA released preliminary recommendations last month. The recommendations would significantly alter services provided to rural veterans across the country, according to a statement from Manchin’s office Friday. Manchin and Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., led a bipartisan letter the next day asking Biden to be sure rural perspectives were considered by the AIR Commission.
In the latest letter, the group of senators told Biden that VA facilities are the only place many elderly veterans seek care.
“The reasons Veterans often cite are that they are better understood, respected, and cared for at their local VA Medical Center,” the letter said.
Manchin and Capito were joined by Rounds and Republican John Thune of South Dakota, Democrat Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, Republican Steve Daines of Montana, Republicans John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Republican Ted Cruz of Texas and Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.