David Zalubowski, File, Associated Press
In this April 15, 2015 file photo, work continues on the Veterans Affairs hospital in Aurora, Colo. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio says the Department of Veterans Affairs is no better off a year after former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned. Shinseki had stepped down amid a scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking health care and falsified records to cover up the delays.

DENVER — A budget-busting veterans hospital in Denver is mired in an embarrassing scandal as the VA struggles to persuade skeptical lawmakers to keep the money flowing.

The half-finished hospital faces a $1 billion cost overrun. The Veterans Affairs Department says it will run out of money and construction will stop next week unless Congress raises the $800 million spending cap by Sunday.

The contractor says that could delay the project by as much as a year and raise the total cost beyond the current $1.73 billion estimate.

The VA offered to trim the project by $53 million in hopes Congress would approve a short-term deal to keep work moving.

House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) has balked, saying the VA should come up with a longer-term plan to finish the project.