By Steven Allen Adams, The Journal
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said the committee created to review cuts to rural veterans’ hospitals across the U.S. – including three of West Virginia’s VA medical centers – has been brought to a halt.
Speaking in front of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument on the grounds of the State Capitol Building on Monday afternoon, Manchin, D-W.Va., said the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will not vote on a slate of nominees submitted by President Joe Biden last week for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission.
The nine-member AIR Committee is tasked with reviewing recommendations released by the VA in March. The AIR Report recommended a nearly $2 trillion proposal for closing as many as three medical centers and 174 outpatient clinics, while shifting focus to rehabilitation, long-term care and other services aimed at older veterans.
“I’ve got the whole committee on board, so we’re just shutting down everything,” said Manchin. “No appointments. No confirmations. So, they’re dead in the water.” …