April 14, 2022

Manchin Opposes AIR Commission Recommendations For West Virginia VAMCs

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on his opposition to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recommendations to the AIR Commission for West Virginia’s VA Medical Centers (VAMC).

“The VA’s recommendations to the AIR Commission are deeply flawed and will impact rural states like West Virginia far more than other parts of America. In West Virginia, three of our four VAMCs would be downsized, forcing our brave Veterans to travel farther for the same care they’ve received at our VAMCs for years,” said Senator Manchin. “The AIR Commission’s plan is far from final, and as a member of both the Senate Appropriations and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, I will fight tooth and nail to prevent the loss of a single VA service or facility in West Virginia.”

Timeline of Senator Manchin’s opposition to the AIR Act

  • May 22, 2018 – Senator Manchin moved to strike the AIR Act from the VA MISSION Act. While Senator Manchin supported the VA MISSION Act, he strongly opposed including the AIR Act that would reduce facilities and services for Veterans in West Virginia.
  • March 27, 2019 – Senator Manchin introduced the Elimination of the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission of 2019 Act to eliminate the commission and protect rural VA hospitals across West Virginia and the country. 
  • March 15, 2022 – Senator Manchin expressed concern that all those who have been nominated to serve on the AIR Commission are from heavily populated urban areas and urged the Administration to make certain rural perspectives are taken into consideration by the Commission. 
  • April 9, 2022 – Senator Manchin led a group of twelve bipartisan Senators in calling on President Biden to consult with Congress and local stakeholders on a state-by-state basis on the potential impacts the AIR Commission recommendations would have, especially on elderly Veterans.