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Rep. Zeldin Statement on Closure of Northport VA Operating Rooms

May 24, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC –Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, released the following statement today in response to reports that Northport VA’s operating rooms have been closed since February due to issues with an outdated HVAC system:

“It is inexcusable that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not allocated the necessary resources to keep open the Operating Rooms at the Northport VA. What is a further insult to Long Island’s veterans is not only the fact that the VA never came to Congress asking for assistance, but also never brought it to the attention of Long Island’s Congressional Delegation at all. 

The funding is there. One doesn’t have to look any further than the Denver VA Hospital construction project operating nearly $1 billion over budget, utilizing what the VA refers to as an “artificial budget”, whatever in the world that means.

Accountability is the dirtiest word of all to the Department. Just yesterday, VA Secretary Bob McDonald compared the wait time scandal to a visit to a Disney theme park. 

Problems have to be identified in order for solutions to be developed and achieved. Now that the New York Times and Newsday have uncovered this grossly incompetent development at the Northport VA, the Department needs to make this issue go away by fixing it, not burying its head in the sand. Our veterans have literally risked their lives in defense of our country, many paying the ultimate sacrifice. Long Island’s veterans not only deserve but are also desperately relying on this administration to step up its game. When the VA earns the reputation as the happiest place on earth, then it can resume its silly comparisons to fantasyland. In the meantime, fix what needs to be fixed and get these operating rooms back open immediately.”