With ground about to be broken on the first phase of a major expansion project at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer thinks now is the time to push for the $190 million needed for the second and final phase.
Schumer stopped by the VA center Friday afternoon to announce the launch of his push, noting he was going after a portion of a $4 billion increase for VA facilities in the recently passed bipartisan omnibus federal funding budget bill.
“We’re pushing hard to get a good chunk of the $4 billion right here,” Schumer told local leaders and veterans advocates in attendance.
He said the United States, since the days of Bunker Hill when Massachusetts farmers set down their plows to take up arms, owes its young men and women who have been willing to fight for the nation.
“When they come home, they deserve the best possible health care that they can get,” he said. “It’s been a struggle, but we’re making it better and better. The day America forgets is veterans is the day the sun sets on America.”
Schumer was involved in the fight to save the Canandaigua VA when the federal government announced plans to close it 15 years ago, and led the charge to secure $161 million for the first phase to modernize the Canandaigua campus.