Friday, May 15, 2015

Isakson, Miller Statement on Replacement Denver VA Medical Center

jeff miller

That's US House Rep Jeff Miller is the Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and this is US Senator Johnny Isakson.


They issued the following joint-statement:

Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Isakson, Miller Statement on Replacement Denver VA Medical Center
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and U.S. Representative Jeff Miller, chairman of the Senate and House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, respectively, released the following statement regarding the replacement Denver Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center construction project:
“The Department of Veterans Affairs replacement Denver VA Medical Center is the biggest construction failure in VA history. Since the project’s inception, the cost of the hospital has ballooned from $328 million to $1.73 billion. Yet as the project spiraled out of control, VA ignored congressional pleas to get things back on track at almost every turn. Because of a near complete and total lack of focus on the project at the highest levels of VA and the department’s disregard for congressional oversight, the future of the Denver replacement hospital is unclear.
“For its part, VA to this day has refused to take this project seriously. Instead of putting forth a realistic plan for covering the enormous cost overruns in Denver by finding efficiencies in its existing budget and eliminating waste, VA has essentially demanded that taxpayers subsidize the department’s incompetence with an $830 million bailout. Incredibly, VA is asking for this bailout in the absence of any accountability whatsoever for the problems in Denver while just today the public learned the department is improperly spending as much as $6 billion on procurements per year. VA’s top leaders may have been ushered into their positions based on their business sense, but their response to the Denver debacle, which has been devoid of accountability and practical cost-savings initiatives, would not fly at any business.
“We’ve been down this road before. Last year, VA promised to fire those responsible for manipulating wait times, stop its longstanding pattern of whistleblower retaliation and fix the department’s corrosive culture. That hasn’t happened yet, and Congress will not tolerate any more empty VA promises. So if the department is serious about getting the Denver project back on track, it needs to show us rather than tell us.”
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 114th Congress.

Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate VA Committee since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as more than 750,000 veterans.