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President Trump Signs Legislation Paving Way for Expanded Portland Veterans Clinic

PORTLAND,ME—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) released the following statement today on President Trump signing veterans’ legislation over the weekend that approved leases for expanded VA clinics across the country, including one in Portland.
“The much-needed expansion of the Portland VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic is something Maine’s Congressional Delegation has been pushing for a long time now. It’s very exciting to see that our efforts will pay off so Maine veterans can get improved access to the care they have earned and deserve.
“From bureaucratic hurdles to Congressional holdups, the frustrating delay of this expansion was classic Washington. It was terrible that political debates were coming before our veterans. I’m proud to have had a role in pushing through a legislative fix and ensuring that the Administration knew it was a priority for Maine.
“I’m eager to see this project move forward in the months ahead and know our veterans are as well.  Seeing the first veterans go through the doors of the new clinic will certainly be cause for celebration.”
Pingree worked for over a year to have the leases approved in Congress—which had been held up because of the way they are accounted for in the budget.
She led a letter to the leadership of the House Veterans Committee in July 2016 to authorize the leases. She then joined Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin to introduce legislation to do so and to have its provisions included in legislation to extend the VA Choice Program. The House passed that bill on July 28. Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King led similar efforts in the Senate.

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