April 13, 2016
The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. 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 $81.6 billion in discretionary funding – $1.8 billion above the fiscal year 2016 level. Within this total, funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is increased by 3 percent over the fiscal year 2016 level – including additional funding to address management problems and health care shortages, and to increase the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of its services to veterans. Of this funding, $63.3 billion was provided via an advance in the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill. Military construction is increased by $250 million over the President’s request, and includes funding for family housing, construction of hospitals and health facilities, and critical overseas investments.
Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made the following statement on the legislation:
“This bill is balanced and bipartisan – providing important support for our troops, their families, and our veterans. It is our responsibility to provide well-funded infrastructure, solid quality-of-life programs, and fair benefits for the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line in defense of this nation,” Chairman Rogers said.
Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Charlie Dent also commented on his bill:
“This legislation upholds our nation’s promise to care for our troops, veterans, and military families who have endured personal sacrifices to keep us safe at home and strong abroad. It provides a robust increase in funding for medical care and benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to keep pace with demand. Its provisions will improve the quality of life for our service members and their families while they’re serving and meet their needs as they return to their home communities,” remarked Chairman Dent. “It will also address concerns raised by veterans across the country by facilitating improvements in the VA’s claims and appeals processes and maintain the VA’s leadership in cutting edge medical research programs. Our veterans deserve the best care we can provide, and this legislation will deliver that while simultaneously enhancing oversight for patients and taxpayers alike.”
The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:
- Rep. Dent – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
- Rep. Rooney – The amendment prohibits funding for the next phase of construction of a Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex Consolidation in Croughton, England, unless authorized in a future 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
- Rep. Rogers – The amendment adds bill language to clarify that certain existing, unobligated funding within the Departments of State and Health and Human Services shall be available to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Zika crisis, both domestically and internationally. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 30-20.
The bill was approved by the full committee on a voice vote.
For the draft text of the bill, please visit:
For the draft bill report, please visit:
For a bill summary, please visit: