Mike Coffman wants the VA out of the building business

Mike Coffman wants the VA out of the building business

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 16, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman said Friday that he plans to introduce legislation next year that would bar the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from running its own construction projects.

The announcement coincides with a rough week for supporters of a new VA hospital in Aurora. The future of the troubled project — which remains under construction — was thrown into chaos on Tuesday when a federal appeals board ruled that the VA had breached its deal with contractor Kiewit-Turner.

In response, officials with Kiewit-Turner said they were walking away from the project, which ultimately could cost more than $1 billion. The move by Kiewit-Turner has sent Colorado’s congressional delegation into overdrive; lawmakers have been trying for days to get VA to reach a new deal with the construction company.

The legislation proposed by Coffman — which will be dropped when a new session of Congress convenes in January — is intended to avoid a repeat of the current fiasco.

“The core responsibility of the VA is to deliver the health care and the benefits that our men and women who have served in the military have earned through their sacrifices in defense of our country,” said the Aurora Republican in a statement. “The VA is clearly not set up to manage major construction projects and it has definitely proven that.”

By Mark Matthews

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