Who saw this coming? We did.
The Senate VA committee leadership said Tuesday they wouldn’t support the far-fetched funding trick the Obama administration has up its sleeves to finish building the Aurora hospital.
PeakNation™ will recall that we have been predicting this for weeks, relentlessly in fact, that Congress would never support the VA’s singular and weak-assed idea of diverting money from one scandal-reform fund to finish a different scandal-ridden job in Colorado.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, called the hulking project a “mockery of government contracting” and an embarrassing boondoggle. The VA’s request to divert choice funds for the Colorado hospital is a “non-starter,” Blumenthal said, calling it “unacceptable” to defer health care improvements in his state and others to accommodate cost overruns at a single site.
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the panel’s chairman, also criticized the request and said the VA should look for other ways to pay for the hospital, including selling surplus buildings. Isakson, who toured the Denver project last month with Blumenthal and other lawmakers, said the Denver hospital is the last one the VA should attempt to build.
Then it got worse. Isakson and Republican Rep. Jeff Miller who chairs the House VA committee said Thursday that the future of the Aurora hospital is unclear because of the agency’s refusal to come up with an acceptable funding plan.
So this is where it stands – the Democrat and Republicans in charge of VA oversight essentially want the agency to hold a yard sale to pay for the Aurora hospital. Meanwhile, the VA refuses to budge from its weak-kneed offer to finish the job.
Members of the Colorado delegation leading the charge for funding agree that the VA should be held responsible for their malfeasance, but argued nicely that veterans should not be the one to suffer for it.
The statement yesterday from Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, and Republican Rep. Michael Coffman:
“But despite the failures of the VA, Colorado veterans deserve to see the completion of the world-class facility they were promised in Denver. They also deserve to see those officials responsible for the delays and cost overruns that have characterized this project held accountable. As members of the Colorado delegation, we are united in our conviction that this hospital must be built, and we will work to bring this project to its long-overdue completion.”
Making matters worse are Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter, who stuck their noses outside of their own congressional district to cause even more problems by being nasty to those influencing the purse strings.
Completely ignoring the fact that Blumenthal IS A DEMOCRAT and that the flawed funding plan was devised by Democrats, the interlopers accused Republicans of purposefully withholding the money just to hurt veterans.
“For all of the legitimate and deserved criticism of the VA, Republican committee leaders are now taking out their anger on Colorado veterans,” they said in a statement.
Some words of advice for DeGette and Perlmutter – shut up.