President Biden’s proposed infrastructure spending plan would designate funds for upgrading and modernizing VA hospitals and clinics along with other federal buildings, while also targeting more federal acquisition dollars to “green” procurements such as electric vehicles.
The proposal—which has not yet been spelled out in legislative language for Congress to consider—contains $10 billion for the “modernization, sustainability, and resilience of federal buildings” in general plus an additional $18 billion for the VA specifically, according to a White House fact sheet.
“The federal government operates office buildings, courthouses, and other facilities in every state, where millions of workers serve the public from outdated, inefficient, and sometimes unsafe working conditions. While the median age of U.S. private sector hospitals is roughly 11 years, the Veterans Affairs’ hospital portfolio has a median age of 58,” it says.
An official added in a press briefing that the plan would “use the power” of the more than $500 billion the government spends annually for procurement “for example to make large purchases of electric vehicles for the federal fleet. By doing that on a forward basis, even if the delivery timeframe is over a 12-, 18-, or 24-month timeframe, you’ve created a demand pull to actually strengthen the incentive to build domestic capacity.”