Chairman Miller Statement on the Future of Denver VA Hospital
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement regarding Senate passage of legislation to authorize completion of the Denver VA Medical Center.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs’ replacement hospital in Denver has become the biggest construction failure in VA history, ballooning from $328 million to $1.675 billion. The bill passed today in the Senate presumes $200 million of VA’s proposed $625 million in offsets are acceptable – offsets paid for through cuts to medical services and delayed facility costs that will simply be requested next year. These cuts would only serve to punish our Nation’s veterans and taxpayers for VA’s incompetence. The bill also fails to address the lack of accountability that has plagued the department for years. The executives responsible for this disaster collected massive bonuses as project costs skyrocketed and delays stretched on for years. Yet instead of being fired, they have retired with full benefits.
“On Tuesday, the House will consider a separate measure to authorize funding for the replacement hospital which would include meaningful offsets and accountability measures completely absent in the Senate-passed bill. The solution I have introduced will cap VA bonuses, diverting $200 million to fix the mess the department created. It will also permit the VA Secretary to recoup the wholly unwarranted bonuses that VA has become known for and will permit VA to recoup pension benefits from employees convicted of felonies related to their duties.
“Congress will not allow the Denver hospital to remain unfinished, but we must find a way forward that assures American veterans and America’s taxpayers are not left holding the bag. The Senate bill assures neither.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
September 15, 2015
H.R. 3595 - To extend the authorization to carry out the replacement of the existing medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver, Colorado, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)