Department of Veterans Affairs spent more than $3.5 million on furniture day before shutdown

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent more than $3.5 million on furniture the day before the government shutdown, according to a Daily Caller analysis of government purchasing records.

VA spent $7,559,675 on September 30, the last day the government was fully operating before this month’s partial shutdown.

Federal government agencies faced a “spend it or lose it” scenario on that day, the last day of the 2013 fiscal year, prompting excessive spending binges as the White House and Congress failed to reach a continuing resolution agreement.

While Federal Prison Industries in Lexington, Kentucky and Milwaukee’s Industries for the Blind, Inc. pulled in some nice government receipts, the Department also showed off a little taste, making multiple six-figure furniture buys from JPL & Associates in Sarasota, Florida.

Hey, sometimes you just need to throw down $16,174 for ergonomic chairs from a company called Ergogenesis.

And who could scoff at a one-time order of $87,725 in “lounge seating and tables” from Arcadia Chair Company in La Palma, California?

If you ever find yourself in a VA waiting room, you just might be sitting on the products of Office Dimensions, Inc. in Teaneck, New Jersey.

VA also spent $828,176 on office supplies, $296,484 on cabinets, lockers, bins and shelving, $122,739 on draperies, awnings, and shades, $73,225 on books and pamphlets, and more than $2.5 million on other miscellaneous purchases. The department spent less than $4,000 on artwork, having already purchased $562,000 in artwork the previous week.

VA did not return requests for comment.

Allison Coyle contributed to this report. 

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