President Trump Delivers on Senator McConnell’s Louisville VAMC Request
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today that President Donald Trump has officially included $481 million — at the Senator’s request — in his Fiscal Year 2020 budget for construction of the new Robley Rex VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Louisville, Kentucky. Of the $481 million, $410 million will go towards construction and $71 million will be used by the Army Corps to manage the project.
Recently President Trump contacted Senator McConnell — who advocated for the remaining funding needed to complete the project — to personally assure him that he would include the full request in his budget. Last year, Senator McConnell contacted U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert Wilkie to ensure his support for the inclusion of the Louisville VAMC project in the President’s FY 2020 budget request. Last month, Senator McConnell also contacted Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director and Acting Chief of Staff to the President Mick Mulvaney to advocate for the Louisville VAMC.
“I want to thank President Trump for including $481 million in his budget for construction of the new Robley Rex VA Medical Center in Louisville. The inclusion of the Louisville VAMC is an important step forward for this project. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, funding this project will be a top priority of mine during the appropriations process,” said Senator McConnell. “This has been a long time coming, but this is a huge step forward for this important project. Kentucky veterans, who have served our country so bravely, deserve to receive quality health care in a new, modern facility. As Senate Majority Leader, one of my top priorities is to support our nation’s heroes, especially the more than 300,000 veterans who call Kentucky home. They have been waiting far too long for this medical center, and I am pleased we are now one step closer.”
“Kentucky’s veterans have no better friend than Senator Mitch McConnell,” said Carl Kaelin, a Vietnam Veteran from Leitchfield, Kentucky and former National Chief of Staff of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). “Since its announcement, Senator McConnell has been fighting to complete the Louisville VA medical center and using his leadership position to get the project done for veterans. I’m so glad President Trump and Senator McConnell are fulfilling the promises made to those who answered the call to service.”
Now that the President’s budget request has been sent to Congress, lawmakers must approve the funding in the appropriations process. Senator McConnell, a senior member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, will continue to make the Louisville VAMC a top priority. Senator McConnell previously secured a total of $450 million for the project, including the initial $75 million for the project secured in 2008. In 2009, legislation introduced by Senator McConnell naming the current and future VAMC after Robley Rex was enacted into law. Senator McConnell has never endorsed a specific location for the new VAMC.