But congressional appropriators did approve nearly $400 million for the project and GSA issued a request for construction proposals, but that was cancelled because materials and labor costs had risen and there was a  “lack of competition,” Robert Peck, the then-head of GSA's Public Buildings Service told Denham’s subcommittee at a hearing last year.

GSA cancelled the project in 2006, but a couple of years later, the agency, seeking to spend its unused appropriations for a Los Angeles courthouse, began mulling yet another plan.

According to Government Accountability Office testimony before Denham’s subcommittee last year, GSA presented three options for a new courthouse to federal judges in Los Angeles, who chose the most expensive option, pegged at $1.1 billion.

GSA went back to the drawing board and it and the judges last year agreed on a 650,000-sq-ft building. That subsequently was pared to the current 550,000-sq-ft scope.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), in whose district the project is located, called the new courthouse “critically needed” and said it would “resolve long-standing security and space issues.” and “create thousands of new jobs” in construction and other businesses.