AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A congressional committee is taking action to get their hands on a report that looked into what went wrong during construction at the build site of a VA Hospital.
The U.S. Veterans Affairs Department completed an internal investigation into what went wrong in Aurora more than a year ago, but they have repeatedly refused to release thousands of pages of findings and documentation, even to Congress.
The hospital is four years overdue and more than $1 billion over budget. It was to be completed in early 2014 at a cost of about $580 million. It now won’t be done until 2018 and the final cost is being projected at $1.7 billion.
There have been countless lawsuits, hearings and even a walkout by workers.
As it came under fire from both sides of the aisle, the VA conducted a comprehensive internal investigation and promised to share the results with Congress. But when it was finished July of last year the department stonewalled lawmakers and finally said it would only provide the House Veterans Affairs Committee with a 31 page redacted summary, which it barred them from making public.
Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican who represents Colorado’s fourth congressional district, sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee. At his urging, they are voting to subpoena the VA’s full report.
“The taxpayers have a right to know. The veterans have the right to know and Congress has to know in its Constitutional oversight responsibility,” Coffman said.
“We’re asked to appropriate this money and we’re asked to account to taxpayers of the United States. There’s no credible explanation how a billions of dollars taxpayer money wasted without a single individual being fired. How does that happen?”
Coffman says he suspects the investigation uncovered corruption and possible criminal wrongdoing and that the VA is trying to cover it up.
The committee will vote next week to issue the subpoena which compel the VA to hand over its findings.