(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced she added language to a key Senate bill calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to end a long string of delays in opening a permanent Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Wenatchee. Senator Murray, who sits on the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon/VA) Appropriations Subcommittee, today included the language in the Subcommittee's fiscal year '08 funding bill.
The language that Murray inserted reads:
The committee is concerned about repeated delays in the opening of the Wenatchee CBOC and urges the VA to open the clinic as soon as possible.
Murray's inclusion of this important directive comes on the same day that the long-awaited clinic opens its door for limited service. Murray's language would ensure continued and broad-based service even sooner.
"We owe our nation's veterans more than lip service. I have worked with the veterans community in north central Washington for years to make this CBOC a reality. While I am pleased that the VA will open the clinic for limited use today, I will continue to monitor the situation, and will not let up until the Wenatchee CBOC is fully up and running," Murray stated.
Helen Link, widow of local veteran leader Elwood "Bud" Link applauded Murray's efforts, "I sure hope the clinic isn't delayed any longer. I am so thankful Senator Murray has kept pushing for the clinic to open because the veterans up here can't wait any longer. September 19th is Bud's birthday, and it would be just fantastic if the clinic was opened by then."
Senator Murray is a national leader on veteran's issues and a key member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in addition to her role on MilCon/VA. She has worked with area veterans over the past 6 years to improve access to VA care in north central Washington. She has also introduced legislation to name the new CBOC after Elwood "Bud" Link, who originally brought the needs of area veterans to her attention.
Murray's language passed the MilCon/VA Subcommittee today and is expected to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow, June 14, 2007.