Additional money for Aurora VA hospital unlikely, according to House leaders
DENVER — House leaders in Washington say that additional funding for the troubled $1.73 billion VA Hospital in Aurora is unlikely. Construction at the job site could stop Sunday.
A meeting Tuesday ended with no progress, implying that money for both a long-term and short-term deal won’t happen.
Lawmakers are trying to work out a compromise before the facility runs out of funds for continuing construction. That will happen Sunday. There was hope that a short-term plan could keep construction workers on the job for at least the next couple of months, but even that looks unlikely.
House Chairman of the Committee of Veterans’ Affairs Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) sent a lengthy letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald Wednesday that demands accountability for the cost overruns at the Aurora project and tells the VA leader to find funding to finish the project within the agency’s existing budget. Read the letter here.
McDonald responded in a statement that read in part, “The delays and costs overruns that have plagued the Denver Replacement Medical Center campus are inexcusable – on that, we all agree.
And, on behalf of Veterans, I want to work with Congress in productive ways to repair mistakes made years ago by VA officials.
But the truth of the matter is without immediate Congressional action prior to returning home for the Memorial Day holiday recess, construction on the Denver Replacement Medical Center in Aurora will shut down Sunday, grinding to a halt as Kiewit Turner demobilizes its team of contractors and sub-contractors.”
The VA needs an additional $830 million to finish building the hospital.