Republican Congressman Dusty Johnson went to Rapid City last Thursday to celebrate big government spending:
The long-debated, evolving plans for veterans’ health care in the Black Hills took a step forward Thursday with the grand opening of a new outpatient clinic.
The 49,000-square-foot Rapid City facility is triple the size of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ previous clinic in the city.
…The VA is leasing the new space, which is near the corner of U.S. Highway 16 and Catron Boulevard. It’s owned by a company affiliated with Rapid City developer Hani Shafai, whose Dream Design International and other local partners built the facility over the past couple of years. Shafai, who told South Dakota Searchlight the project cost more than $25 million, said he’s proud to play a part in helping veterans.
…U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, attended Thursday’s grand opening. He said the future of the Hot Springs and Sturgis campuses is secure, and he doesn’t think the blocked reorganization recommendations “will ever be taken up for action.”
“Hot Springs and Fort Meade are going to continue to do a great job serving veterans,” Johnson said, “not only for the rest of my career, but for the rest of my life” [Seth Tupper, “With Reorganization Plans Squashed for Now, VA Celebrates New Rapid City Clinic,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.08.17].
Remember: expanded VA services in Rapid City were supposed to replace the Hot Springs and Fort Meade facilities, increase patient access, and lower costs. But Dusty’s Republican colleagues Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds put a stop to that government downsizing.