VA Hospital Construction Could Shut Down Without Congressional Fix

June 8, 2015
Photo: Aurora VA Hospital construction April 2015 2 (AP Photo)
Officials behind the overdue and over budget VA hospital in Aurora are briefing Congress on a new full-funding fix. Without congressional approval, the project will run out of construction money within a week or so.
The plan includes moving $150 million from other VA projects--enough to keep construction going on the Aurora hospital for several months. 
But the VA also needs Congress to authorize $830 million this week to finish the job, even if it doesn't sign off on where all that money will come from. 
"Those two are the key prerequisites to ensuring that project will not shut down at the end of the week," says Stella Fiotes, head of the VA's construction office. 
In addition to shifting money internally, the VA is proposing to scale back the project to save $55 million. The office would also accept a 3 percent cut in its annual budget over several years to complete the Aurora facility.