Maloney Secures Investment for Construction of Barracks at West Point
Washington — U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney announced that the fiscal year 2014 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill passed the House with broad bipartisan support. Specifically, this legislation includes provisions to construct a new training center for the Army Reserve in Bullville, NY as well as investing in construction and renovations of new cadet barracks at West Point.
“I am proud of this bipartisan effort to invest in our infrastructure and continue our commitment to America’s veterans, troops and military families”, said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “These folks have given years of service and sacrifice, and this bill shows them the deep respect they deserve.”
Specifically, this legislation includes $42 million for construction and renovations of barracks at the United States Military Academy at West Point, which is expected to begin in September 2013. Cadets are currently living in overcrowded and outdated facilities, some dating back to 1895. Last year, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer fought to authorize $192 million for construction and renovation of barracks in the National Defense Authorization Act signed into law last December and helped secure the first $86 million for construction and renovations of the barracks.
“This investment will give our cadets the critical resources they need to prepare for a life time of selfless service defending our nation,” said Maloney. “West Point has been educating and training our nation’s next generation of military leaders since 1802 – it is as old as the nation itself. I commend the hard work of Senators Gillibrand and Schumer who have spent years fighting to secure this important investment in the Hudson Valley.”
The bill also takes steps to address the backlog of veterans’ disability claims, including increasing the number of claims processors, investing in the transition from paper to digital health records, new reporting requirements on the backlog, and developing an integrated health records system with the Department of Defense. Earlier this year, Rep. Maloney introduced the Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act which allows veterans to have their medical examinations done by physicians outside the VA system to help process veterans’ disability claims faster. Rep. Maloney also supports the End the VA Claims Backlog Now Act which would give provisional benefits to veterans filing for disability if a claim hasn’t been processed within 125 day.
“No one should fight for their country only to return home and have to fight their government. These additional resources are important first steps to get our veterans the benefits they deserve faster and improve access to important health care and other services,” concluded Maloney.
In addition, the new Army Reserve Center will be constructed to replace old facilities that were not able to support training for an Engineer Company and will enable other units to train at this site. The new facility will be named after SSG Frederick J. Ill, an Army Reservist and NYC Firefighter killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11.