MILITARY

VA secretary asks Iraq vet lawmaker, in spat over agency overruns, 'What have you done?'

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald holds a chart as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on the Veterans Affairs budget. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald holds a chart as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on the Veterans Affairs budget. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has asked a Republican lawmaker who served in both Iraq wars what he has done in his career as the two men sparred over huge cost overruns at a troubled Denver VA hospital.

McDonald was defending the VA's budget at a hearing Wednesday when he and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman tussled over construction delays and cost increases at the Denver site.

After a few minutes of arguing, McDonald snapped at Coffman: "I've run a large company, sir, what have you done?"

Coffman, an Army veteran who served in both Iraq wars, did not respond at the hearing. But the four-term lawmaker said in a statement later that he has "never run a federal agency that tolerates corruption the way the VA has."