VA Trying To Find Cash For Aurora Hospital, Exec Tells Vets

· Aug. 10, 2015, 8:58 pm
Photo: Robert McDonald, Rep. Jeff Miller (AP Photo)AP
VA Secretary Robert McDonald, left, waves as he is introduced, alongside Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee during a forum at the Disabled American Veterans convention in Denver, Monday Aug. 10, 2015.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald said about $600 million is still needed. 

“We’ve got to figure out how to do it," he said. "But important in that is we’ve got to communicate ... the progress, what’s been done wrong, how we’ve changed and what we need to do to move forward.”

Rep. Jeff Miller, the chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, suggested the administration look for money from outside the VA budget.

“The president and this administration could ask for that money to be cobbled together from other administrations and agencies," Miller said. "It’s very difficult to find that kind of money just laying around the Department of Veterans Affairs anymore."

McDonald called it a “new idea,” but said his first responsibility is the VA’s own budget.

The $1.73 billion project is set to run out money at the end of September.

Miller also said the VA should fire problem employees faster and that Congress should make it easier for the entire government to dismiss bad workers.

McDonald says all of the top VA officials who managed the project when costs got wildly out of control have since left the agency.

“When we started the internal administrative investigation, a couple of people chose to retire," McDonald said. "They’re gone.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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