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Conference Committee Agrees on Bill to Fight the Zika Virus, Fund Military Construction and Veterans Affairs

Washington, June 22, 2016

A joint House and Senate Conference Committee today submitted the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act (H.R. 2577) final Conference Report. The legislation will now head to the House floor for final approval.

In total, the legislation provides $82.5 billion in discretionary funding – $2.6 billion above the fiscal year 2016 level – for the fiscal year 2017 Military and Veterans Affairs Appropriations section of the bill. This includes 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 addition, the Conference Report includes $1.1 billion for domestic and international efforts to fight the Zika virus and prevent it from spreading. Approximately $750 million of these funds are offset to save taxpayer dollars. Unlike the Administration’s request that allowed overly broad authority for federal agencies to use Zika dollars with little accountability, this legislation places tight controls and oversight on spending to ensure that every dollar is being used appropriately.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, the Chair of the Conference Committee, gave the following statement regarding the agreement today.

“This is a solid agreement that will adequately and effectively fund resources for our troops and their families, our veterans, and to fight and prevent the spread of the Zika virus. It is the product of careful and thorough deliberations between the House and the Senate, and reflects a responsible compromise that can and should be signed into law.

“Mosquito season is upon us; these dollars must get out the door now to help control the spread of the Zika virus, and continue longer-term efforts to stop this disease, such as vaccine and treatment development and deployment.

“And the Military-Construction and Veterans Affairs portion of the agreement is critical legislation to fund the infrastructure and services our active-duty troops and their families need, and to fulfill our commitment to those who have fought and sacrificed for our nation.

“While providing these funds, this agreement contains strong oversight measures and spending controls to ensure every dollar is well and effectively spent, and that federal agencies are accountable to the people.

“This is responsible, necessary, bicameral legislation that I am pleased to have approved today. I urge its quick consideration and support of all my colleagues – both across the aisle and across the Capitol.”

The full text of the legislation will be posted on http://docs.house.gov later this evening.

For a summary of the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs portion of the Conference Report, please visit:

/UploadedFiles/06.22.16_-_FY_2017_Military_Construction_VA_Conference_Report_-_Summary.pdf

For a summary of the Zika Prevention and Response portion of the Conference Report, please visit:

/UploadedFiles/06.22.16_Zika_Conference_Report_-_Summary.pdf

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