New VA Facilities Get Congressional OK

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation this week authorizing seven new major VA medical facilities in Florida.

The legislation, approved by a voice vote, included language originally sponsored by Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson authorizing the General Services Administration to execute 28 new leases for major VA medical facilities around the country, including seven in Florida.

The new Florida facilities will be located in Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Ocala, Tampa, Lakeland and two in Gainesville, according to Nelson's office.

By law, Congress must approve any U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lease that would result in an average rental payment of more than $1 million per year. 

Congress has not authorized a major VA medical facility lease since 2014.

The legislation authorizing the new Florida facilities was included in a broader veterans' health care bill, known as the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017, which the Senate approved this week. 

The measure, which was approved by the House last week, now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

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