July 20, 2011

Manchin Statement on Passage of Mil-Con Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today made the following statement after voting for the Fiscal Year 2012 Military-Construction-Veterans-Affairs Appropriations Act, which provides critical funding for our troops, supports thousands of well-paying jobs and ensures that our veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned. The bill passed the Senate 97-2. 

“Our troops have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and we should honor their dedication with the care and services they have earned and deserve – that is why I was proud to vote for this important piece of legislation,” Senator Manchin said. “Our armed forces have helped build this nation and keep us safe, and I will always work to ensure they have the facilities and medical support they need. Even as we struggle with tough decisions on our budget and national debt and deficit, I hope we can all agree that military men and women in West Virginia and around the country should always remain a top priority.  

“With respect to the bill, I am also pleased that this legislation will provide funds for improved veterans affairs services in rural communities – an area that needs additional support in West Virginia. The bill also includes support for two important West Virginia National Guard facilities that need to be modernized.”


In addition to funding military construction and family housing as well as health care for veterans, two West Virginia projects received dedicated funding in the Senate Military-Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. These funds will help continue the modernization of National Guard facilities, and have been in the planning stages for many years. The Camp Dawson Hydrant Fuel System will receive $2.2 million under the bill, and a new readiness center in Buckhannon will receive $10 million for Phase One of construction. The 1950s-era center needs to be updated and expanded to accommodate units assigned to the facility. 

Senator Manchin also voted against an amendment that would have limited the rights of veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Senator Manchin supports preserving their rights to apply for disability benefits.