Colorado Congressional Delegation Expresses Commitment to Completing VA Hospital

Washington, DC - Following new cost estimates to complete the new VA hospital in Aurora, the Colorado Congressional delegation today expressed its commitment to working together on behalf of our veterans to ensure the regional medical facility is completed.

"The VA's recent cost projections reflect the utter mismanagement of the project from the start. After insisting to the Congressional delegation and the veterans community that the project was within its budget for years, the VA's latest projections are yet another affront to both tax payers and our veterans community," Bennet said. "Leaving this project unfinished is obviously not a solution. We are committed to fulfilling this promise to Colorado's veterans, and I have faith the Colorado delegation and veterans community will continue to work together and with the other regional stakeholders to ensure completion of this regional hospital. The delegation will continue to demand greater accountability and transparency at the VA."

"The VA should have completed the Aurora VA hospital on time and on budget. They failed. But the punishment for that failure should not fall on Colorado veterans," Gardner said. "It is critically important for our veterans that this project be completed and this hospital opened. That's why I've already offered legislation to transfer the management of this project from the VA to the Army Corps of Engineers, and that's why I will support committing the resources required to complete the project. The United States has no greater responsibility than taking care of those who have served our country."

"The breathtaking amount of money needed to complete the new Denver VA facility demonstrates two things. First and most immediately, Colorado leaders-especially our Congressional delegation-must band together to make sure this project is completed so that our veterans can access the facilities and treatment they have earned. Second, the VA should never again be involved with major construction projects," DeGette said.

"I am deeply concerned and disappointed by the amount of additional funds the VA is requesting to complete the construction of our Denver VA replacement medical center," Lamborn said. "This is a critical facility that our Colorado veterans have earned and need, so I remain committed to ensure we bring the project to completion. However, the previous mismanagement and lack of construction supervision within the VA clearly requires additional Congressional oversight to ensure better accountability and determine the best way forward regarding the VA's ability to build hospitals."

"I'm incredibly frustrated and angry about the $1.73 billion price tag for the VA hospital in Aurora. The VA's mismanagement has plagued this project since day one and the veterans and taxpayers are the ones paying the price," said Rep. Perlmutter. "We now have a final cost estimate on the project. Our delegation has its work cut out for us to get the additional funding, but our veterans need and deserve this facility and I won't stop working until they get it."

"As much as I'm angered by the mismanagement of this project, as a combat veteran I know that we have an obligation to see that this hospital is completed and that everything that can be done will be done to bring down the cost, that those responsible for these cost overruns are held accountable, and that the necessary reforms are put in place to make sure that this never happens again," said Coffman.

"The delays and infighting surrounding the construction of our Veterans Hospital are a prime example of bureaucracy beating out the well-being of Colorado's veterans," said Rep. Polis. "It is time for the VA to move this project to the top of the list and do what it takes to complete this hospital promptly and give the Coloradans who put their lives on the line for us the facility and care they deserve."

"The mismanagement of this project by the VA is an outrage, and it's the American taxpayer and veterans awaiting care that are most greatly impacted by the staggering cost and construction delays. Those VA officials that have been responsible for these problems need to be held accountable, and this entire process raises questions as to why the VA was ever involved in construction in the first place," said Tipton. "I'm committed to working with my Colorado colleagues to ensure the new Denver VA Hospital is completed for Colorado's veterans and costs are lowered where possible. With that we must be equally steadfast in working to implement additional reforms to prevent this from ever happening again with VA construction programs."

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