June 12, 2008
Record breaking, Robust Veterans and Military Construction funding bill passes Appropriations Subcommittee
WASHIGNTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) today approved its funding legislation for fiscal year 2009. The bill contains a record level of funding for programs for
America ’s veterans and military construction projects.
“Our veterans and active duty military personnel have made sacrifices that many of us cannot even imagine, and it is our duty to honor their service and provide sufficient funds to meet the expanding needs of our growing veteran and military communities,” House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis said.
“However, it is critically important that we insist on proper oversight and efficiency on these funds, so that these programs and projects bring the greatest possible benefit to our vets and troops while maximizing every taxpayer dollar.” Lewis continued.
The legislation contains $72.7 billion in total funding, which is $8.8 above last year and $3.4 billion above the President’s request. This is the largest funding level in the history of the Milcon-VA appropriations bill. The bill also contains $11 million over the President’s request for the Inspector General at the Department of Veterans affairs to continue stringent supervision on the expenditure of these funds.
The bill meets the President’s request and provides a $3.8 billion increase for Military Construction, including the Army and Marine Corps “Grow the Force” initiative and military family housing. The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 account is funded at $9.1 billion, the same as the President’s request, and the BRAC 1990 account is funded at $80 million over the President’s request for a total of $473 million.
“This bill needs some improvements. It is essential that we continue to fine tune this legislation through a regular, traditional appropriations process – including an open rule on the House floor – in the near future.” Lewis said.
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