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Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Legislation

Bill will fund programs for our troops, military families, defense infrastructure and veterans


Washington, Apr 2 -

The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation contains funding to house, train, and equip military personnel, provide housing and services to military families, and help maintain base infrastructure. The bill also funds veterans’ benefits and programs.

In total, the legislation provides $71.5 billion in discretionary funding – a cut of $1.8 billion below the fiscal year 2014 level. This reduction will not negatively affect projects or services on which our troops and veterans rely. Instead, the bill provides less funding than the previous year for military construction, largely due to a lack of new need for such projects, while increasing funding for veterans programs by $1.5 billion.

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

“Our number one priority with this bill is to ensure that our troops and veterans receive the resources they need and deserve. This legislation will do just that – providing funds for critical infrastructure for our troops, services for military families, and to bolster veterans’ programs to keep our commitment to those who have served and sacrificed for this country,” Chairman Rogers said. “At the same time, we’ve made responsible decisions to reduce funding where it is no longer needed, to be more efficient with the people’s money and to save tax dollars where we can.”

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

“We have immense responsibilities in our subcommittee, and I can think of nothing more important than ensuring the peace of mind and quality of life for our veterans and active-duty military. These are tough budgetary times, but providing for our men and women in uniform is a duty that we simply cannot neglect. With this bill, we’ve once again been able to protect the high-quality support and services provided to our troops, our veterans, and their families,” Chairman Culberson said.

Bill Highlights:

The bill totals $71.5 billion – $1.8 billion below the fiscal year 2014 level and $398 million below the President’s budget request. The decrease is primarily due to declining need for new military construction projects.

Military Construction – The bill provides a total of $6.6 billion for military construction projects – a decrease of $3.3 billion below the enacted fiscal year 2014 level, and the same as the President’s request. The funding provided will be used for large and small construction and renovation projects on military bases within the U.S. and around the globe.

Veterans Affairs (VA) – The legislation includes a total of $158.2 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, an increase of $10.3 billion above the fiscal year 2014 level. 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 alone for Veterans programs in the bill is $64.7 billion. Approximately $55.6 billion of this discretionary total was provided last year via advance funding in the fiscal year 2014 Appropriations bill.

Advance Appropriations for Veterans Medical Programs – The bill contains $58.7 billion in advance fiscal year 2016 funding for the VA – the same level as the President’s request. 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 $62 million for the Arlington National Cemetery, a decrease of $4 million from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.

For the complete text of the Subcommittee Draft of the FY 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2015-MilCon-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

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