A House panel voted to subpoena the Department of Veterans Affairs on Wednesday. The Veterans Affairs Committee wants thousands of pages of documents related to the cost of constructing the VA Hospital in Aurora.
The committee also wants documents related to art and ornamental furnishing purchases for the past five-and-a-half years.
The cost of building the hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus has ballooned to more than $1.6 billion. That figure was nearly triple earlier estimates.
The hospital is in Rep. Mike Coffman’s district. Coffman is a Republican representing Colorado in Congress. He made the case to take the step of subpoenaing the VA to the committee.
“I believe this committee and the American people are entitled to reviewall the documents relating to the Aurora AIB and to draw their own conclusions as to what went wrong and who should be held accountable as far as this project is concerned,” said Coffman.
Coffman said the VA has blamed the cost overruns on officials who are no longer with the department.
Democrats and the VA objected to the subpoena because they worried that documents related to the hospital could jeopardize agency whistleblowers who have helped officials learn the true scope of the cost overruns at the facility, considered one of the biggest boondoggles in the agency’s history.