House panel subpoenas VA over Denver hospital, artwork

WASHINGTON (AP) - A House committee has voted to issue a subpoena to the Department of Veterans Affairs, demanding that the agency turn over documents that could explain how the cost of a Denver-area VA hospital ballooned to almost $1.7 billion, nearly triple earlier estimates.

The subpoena issued Wednesday by the House Veterans Affairs Committee also seeks documents related to millions of dollars spent on artwork and ornamental furnishings at VA offices nationwide, including more than $6.4 million spent on the Palo Alto, Calif., health care system.

The VA gave Congress a summary of an internal inquiry on the Denver hospital, but not the supporting documents, despite repeated requests from lawmakers.

Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson has said making the documents public could have a chilling effect on future internal investigations.

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