House OKs Bill To Tighten Control On VA Construction

Sloan Gibson
<p>(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)</p>
<p>The under-construction Veterans Affairs Hospital on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Aurora, Colo.</p>
Photo: VA hospital in Aurora, July 2015 (AP Photo)
The under-construction Veterans Affairs Hospital on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Aurora, Colo.

The bill, approved Tuesday on a voice vote, requires the VA to allow the Army Corps of Engineers or other federal agency to manage projects that cost more than $100 million.

The bill responds to a multiyear debacle in Aurora, Colorado, where a hospital under construction is projected to cost $1.7 billion. Investigators blame overruns on multiple design changes and a decision by VA officials to use a complicated contract process they didn't fully understand.

Republican lawmakers call the project a symptom of the VA's overall dysfunction.