U.S. Representative Brian Mast says the Department of Veterans Affairs is evicting him and other members of Congress from offices opened inside two Florida VA Medical Centers.
Republican Mast opened what became the first ever Congressional office inside a Veterans Affairs facility in 2017 at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. He shares it with Democrat Representatives Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Alcee Hastings.
Mast claims more than 500 veterans have met with representatives from his office as well as the other congressmen, getting help with things like disability claims and benefits appeals.
Mast, in a press release, says the decision to evict by the Department of Veterans Affairs is aimed at avoiding accountability.
“No other federal agency has been so plagued by crisis after crisis as the VA has, and apparently they will go to no end to avoid accountability."
Unless the Department of Veterans Affairs reverses their decision, the office in West Palm Beach and one in Orlando, where Democrats Stephanie Murphy and Darren Soto hold office hours, will be forced to close by the end of the year.
Rep. Mast has filed a bill in the U.S. House that would mandate the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide space to members of Congress nationwide so they can assist veterans when and where they need the help.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has sent us the following statement:
"VA’s primary mission is delivering medical care to Veterans, and the physical spaces within our facilities are used for that mission. The Department will use the space previously dedicated to six Members of Congress for the provision of medical care services.
Moreover, no law authorizes the Department to dedicate its space for Members of Congress to provide constituent services. Past bills authorizing the Department to do so have not been enacted."