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

<p>(AP Photo/David&nbsp;<span data-scayt-word="Zalubowski">Zalubowski</span>)</p>
<p>As seen through the pattern of a fence, a sign stands at the construction site of the Veterans Affairs hospital Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Aurora, Colo.</p>

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.