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Sen. Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, recently introduced S. 42, the Build, Utilize, Invest, Learn and Deliver (BUILD) for Veterans Act of 2023, which would improve staffing to manage construction of VA assets and ensure that there are concrete plans to improve planning, management, and budgeting for construction and capital asset programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The legislation would also ensure VA completed climate resilience surveys for all of its facilities and projected needs for capital assets into the future. Importantly, the bill would assure that VA’s infrastructure planning considers the needs of women Veterans and Veterans’ needs for dental and long-term care services.

With the growing number of Veterans expected to enter the VA health care system in the coming decades, it has become increasingly imperative that Congress take the lead in strengthening VA’s health care infrastructure, and S. 42—the BUILD for Veterans Act is a critical first step toward achieving that goal.