Gardner, Bennet seek to end VA management of large construction projects

June 11, 2015

Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner are offering legislation to put the Army Corps of Engineers in charge of all VA construction projects costing more than $100 million.

The measure announced Wednesday is an amendment to a defense spending bill.

Lawmakers are demanding changes in the Veterans Affairs Department after the cost of a VA hospital under construction in suburban Denver ballooned to $1.73 billion. That's nearly triple the VA's estimate from last year.

The VA and Congress are negotiating an agreement for about $625 million more for the project, which the department says it needs to finish.

Bennet, a Democrat, and Gardner, a Republican, amended the defense bill last week to direct the Government Accountability Office to look into the overruns. Two internal VA investigations are underway.