WASHINGTON, D.C. – South Dakota House of Representatives member Kristi Noem; with fellow House members Adrian Smith of Nebraska and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, sent a letter to Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs last week, asking him not to authorize a VA Plan to lease space for a Residential Rehab Treatment Program (RRTP) in Rapid City.
The lease plan was part of the VA’s 2014 budget request. In mid-April, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki admitted to South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson, during budget hearings, that the budget request for nearly $10 million dollars was a mistake and should not have been included.
Shinseki said at that time that he would inform the House Committee on the oversight.
The joint letter from the area Representative’s reiterated Shinseki’s admission and as such, asks that the project not be authorized.
“We want to ensure that the veterans in Western South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming have access to quality care for their service to our country,” the letter concludes.
“Proceeding with the beginning stages of the VA’s plan to vacate the Hot Springs VA in haste would not serve the best interests of our veterans.”