AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The deadline for funding to keep the construction of the new VA hospital being built in Aurora going is fast approaching.
On Wednesday House Speaker John Boehner took to the House floor in Washington to blast the Department of Veterans Affairs for its spending spree on the project. Boehner says the problems are so deep it can’t finish the hospital.
The half-finished project is a billion dollars over budget.
Republican Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran, released a statement Wednesday regarding the looming work stoppage, blaming Washington politics.
Coffman also said VA leadership refused to acknowledge trouble at the hospital.
“The half-built Aurora VA hospital stands as a testament to the failure of Washington, DC politics — VA leadership ignored the problems for years and did nothing to stop the out-of-control construction costs for the replacement hospital,” Coffman said in the statement.
Coffman said VA leadership “tried to undermine my plan to use VA bonuses to fund the cost overruns. The VA would rather see the Aurora VA shut down than lose a penny of their own bonus money.”
He said many members of Congress view it as a Colorado problem, not a national problem.
“The veterans that the replacement hospital will serve are the men and women who served our country in uniform and our nation has an obligation to them to provide them the health care benefits that they have earned through their military service.”
Coffman said he’s “greatly disappointed” in Boehner for not approving a short-term increase to allow more negotiation time and avoid the shutdown.