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Pascrell Celebrates Plan to Save New Jersey Veteran Clinic

Statement by senators effectively kills misguided commission plan that would have shuttered Paterson VA that serves 4,000 veterans

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) this afternoon hailed an announcement by bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee that they will block plans to close several Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, effectively saving from closure the Paterson Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) which serves veterans in northern and central New Jersey. The senators’ move follows a demand for action by Pascrell last week to save the VA facility in North Jersey and others across America.

“The recommendations by the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission to close down VA clinics across America and in North Jersey were misguided, foolish, and cruel,” said Rep. Pascrell. “These veterans served our great country and the last thing any veterans deserve is seeing their health care diluted or diverted. Since this decision was revealed our office has been lobbying to stop it. I thank Chairman Tester and his bipartisan Senate colleagues for heeding our warnings and moving fast to shut down this unneeded, unwise plan and save our VA clinics. I fought hard to open the Paterson CBOC to provide primary care and specialty health services, including mental health care, for veterans. At the time we knew that the East Orange and Hackensack facilities were overcrowded, inconvenient to Passaic County, and unable to handle the volume of veterans in need of care. Today, those relying on our VA clinic in Paterson can breathe a sigh of relief. I will always fight for our the high quality health care for our Garden State veteran neighbors. This is a great day.”

On June 23, Rep. Pascrell wrote urgently to U.S. VA Secretary Denis McDonough calling on him to halt any plans to close the Paterson VA facility. Pascrell highlighted that the plans were based on faulty and unreliable data. “Removing a community clinic that thousands of veterans rely on is not ‘what is best’ for veterans but is a slap in the face to those who served,” Pascrell wrote.

The senators who helped kill plans to close the Paterson VA facility, and others, are Senate VA Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT), and U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Thune (R-SD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM).

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