(Walla Walla, WA) Today, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers met with Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center. “I thanked the Secretary for making it a priority to visit Walla Walla to see first-hand the remarkable work being done here,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I also thanked Senator Patty Murray for her work in advancing veterans’ causes and for inviting Secretary Peake.”
McMorris Rodgers thanked Secretary Peake for increasing the reimbursement veterans receive when they travel to VA facilities for medical care. Now, Eastern Washington veterans who must travel to Seattle or Portland for care will receive 28.5 cents per mile, an increase from just 11 cents per mile. “Although there is more to be done, the increase is definitely a step in the right direction, and I thank you for doing this for our veterans,” McMorris Rodgers told Secretary Peake.
The Walla Walla VA facility is scheduled for a $91 million renovation in 2012. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers urged the Secretary to allocate money for the renovation sooner. “We need the money by 2010, because these veterans need a better place to get the care they deserve,” McMorris Rodgers said.
McMorris Rodgers also pledged to continue her work to provide veterans increased access to affordable, quality healthcare, to increase the federal funding to provide the types of care that are important to veterans, and to support important legislation to ensure benefits and funding meet the needs of veterans.
“I am committed to working on behalf of all veterans and ensuring that they receive the services, care, and benefits they earned while honorably serving our county,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Having a husband who served 26 years in the Navy, I am continually reminded of the gratitude we owe our veterans.”