Alameda Sun: VA Project Tangled in Budget Struggle, July 30, 2015


Pres. Barack Obama’s 2016 budget proposal includes $70 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic and columbarium at Alameda Point. If approved by Congress, the money would go toward site work, utilities, geotechnical work, and wetlands mitigation. But the VA is facing a backlash in Congress over an astronomical cost overrun of nearly $1 billion at its new hospital facility being built in Aurora, Colo., near Denver. Whether this will affect Alameda Point is yet to be seen.

The House of Representatives cut the president’s VA construction budget in half. The Senate has refused to go along with the cut. The president has threatened to veto the bill if the VA cuts come to his desk.

Representative Phil Roe of Tennessee delivered scathing remarks during a House hearing on the bill in April. "How many doctors and nurses could have been hired with $1 billion that the VA’s Office of Construction & Facilities Management has set fire to?" said Roe. He went on to name three other VA projects that are wildly over budget in Orlando, New Orleans and Las Vegas. "If this is the performance we should expect, the VA really has no business being in the construction industry."