Lawmakers to VA: Find another way to pay for Aurora hospital

· May 13, 2015, 2:31 pm
Photo: Aurora VA Hospital construction April 2015 2 (AP Photo)AP
A worker walks at the construction site of the Veterans Affairs hospital Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. Veterans Affairs officials are trying to get the overdue, over-budget hospital back on track.

Lawmakers from both parties say money from a new health care law will not be used to pay for a half-finished hospital in Denver that one senator called a "mockery of government contracting."

The Department of Veterans Affairs is asking Congress to redirect $730 million from a new law intended to reduce waiting times for veterans seeking health care to complete the long-delayed hospital. The project now is expected to cost more than $1.7 billion, nearly triple an estimate VA gave last year.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the top Democrat on the Senate veterans panel, called the project a mockery and said the funding request was a "non-starter."

VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said the agency does "not have $700 million sitting on the sidelines."

You care.

You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up.  The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!