VA Secretary Shulkin Says He’s Considering Closing 1,100 VA Facilities

WASHINGTON (AP) – Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says his department is seeking to close perhaps more than 1,100 VA facilities nationwide.

At a House hearing, Shulkin said the VA had identified more than 430 vacant buildings and 735 that he described as underutilized. He said the VA would work with Congress in prioritizing buildings for closure and was considering whether to follow a process the Pentagon had used in recent decades to shutter underused military bases. That process was known as Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC.

Shulkin says underused VA facilities are costing the federal government $25 million a year.

The Pentagon’s BRAC process often stirred controversy in the past as members of Congress expressed concern about the negative economic impact of shuttering bases and vigorously opposed closures in their districts.

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