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Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Legislation

Bill will fund essential programs and services for our nation’s troops, veterans, and military families


Washington, May 7 -

The House Appropriations Committee today released the initial fiscal year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. The legislation will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The bill totals $71.7 billion in discretionary funding, which is the same as the fiscal year 2012 level.

The legislation provides the nation’s military with the infrastructure needed to house, train, and equip military personnel, provides for the quality of life of our troops and their families, and maintains our strong military base structure. The bill also funds veterans’ benefits and programs to ensure that all veterans receive the services they have earned as a result of their sacrifices and service to the country.

Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made the following statement on the legislation:

“We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of those who proudly serve and have served our nation, as well as providing care and support for their families both here and abroad. This bill addresses the needs of our nation’s troops, veterans, and military families, and provides funding for the programs and services that they deserve. At the same time, we have found efficiencies within the programs in the bill to trim spending, and have directed taxpayer dollars to most effectively provide for our troops and veterans,” he said.

Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson also commented on his bill:

“The safety and security of our nation is always my top priority. It is the responsibility of Congress to ensure that our military has every resource available to them to be successful on, and off, the battlefield.  Once again this year, we have been able to cut excess spending without compromising the high-quality services provided to our troops, their families, and our veterans,” Chairman Culberson said.

Bill Highlights:

Military Construction – The bill provides $10.6 billion for military construction projects – a decrease of $2.4 billion below last year’s level. Much of the reduction is attributable to the deliberate pause in military construction by the Air Force (-$839 million) and a continued decline in funding requirements for the BRAC 2005 process. The bill also rescinds certain prior-year funds that have not been used.

Veterans Affairs (VA) – The legislation includes a total of $135.4 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. This funding will help provide our nation’s veterans with the services and care they have earned from their dedicated service to the country.

Discretionary funding in the bill equals $60.7 billion, which is $2.3 billion above last year’s level. Approximately $52 billion of this discretionary total was provided last year via an advance of funding in the fiscal year 2012 Appropriations bill.

Advance Appropriations for Veterans Medical Programs – The bill contains $54.5 billion in advance fiscal year 2014 funding for the VA – the same level provided in the House-passed Budget Resolution. This funding will provide for medical services, medical support and compliance, and medical facilities, and ensure that our veterans have continued, full access to their medical care needs.

Arlington National Cemetery – The legislation includes $174 million for the Arlington National Cemetery, an increase of $128 million over last year’s level. Within the total, $84 million is provided for the Millennium Project, and $19 million is included for planning and design of the Navy Annex Expansion.

For the complete text of the FY 2013 Subcommittee Draft Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-112HR-SC-AP-FY13-MilConVA.pdf

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