Veterans clinic announced for Bakersfield

Rep. Kevin McCarthy shakes hands with Vietnam veteran Marcus Greene following the announcement in October 2018 of a veterans clinic that will serve local veterans upon completion. Now it appears the VA has terminated that lease. Does that mean it's starting over?

Congressman Kevin McCarthy is demanding answers about yet another delay in construction of a new veterans clinic in Bakersfield.

In a letter sent Monday to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, the House minority leader expressed his "deep frustration" with "unacceptable delays" and requested to know by Friday a timeline for construction of the new facility.

The Californian reported over the weekend the Department of Veterans Affairs recently canceled a contract that had been awarded a year ago to construct and operate the new veterans clinic at a site in northwest Bakersfield. 

"It is utterly unacceptable that our veterans have patiently spent years waiting for a clinic — which Congress authorized ten years ago — and are facing yet another delay because of the VA's mistakes," McCarthy said in a statement he released Monday.

VA spokesman Damian McGee told The Californian last week the VA is moving forward with a new expedited procurement process. The previous selection process apparently violated agency rules in not properly evaluating a proposal to renovate the current clinic by the company that currently operates the clinic in Bakersfield. The type of veterans clinic slated for Bakersfield are not owned by the federal government but are leased to private companies.

Congress authorized construction of 15 new facilities in 2010. The Bakersfield facility is the only one that remains stalled.

In a response to McCarthy's letter, Wilkie reiterated his commitment to building the clinic in Bakersfield and stressed the need to reform the "out of date and burdensome federal acquisition process that is responsible for so many construction delays that only harm our veterans and the public."

(4) comments

jayinbaker

It would be nice if we really had a Representative who really represented us. 9 years the clinic hasn't been built, and all of a sudden McCarthy is concerned? Where has he been for the past 9 years?

yorkies2014

humm...."deep frustration" with "unacceptable delays" sounds like more of the same ole crazy chaos tactics used by the his buddies in the White House...there the isn't going to be a clinic anytime soon....unless maybe Mexico builds Donny's Wall

PedoHater

McClown should resign. What a disgrace

Moardeeb

Being the minority leader gets you to the bottom of the list.

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