June 23, 2016
The House today approved the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act final Conference Report (House Report 114-640). The legislation now needs to be approved by the Senate, before heading to the President’s desk 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:
“I am proud this legislation was approved by the House today. It is the result of hard-fought but productive negotiations, and it is a balanced bill that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can and should support.
“This conference report is an effective, responsible approach to addressing the Zika crisis. It will get money out the door immediately to help stop the spread of the virus and respond to the ever-growing number of cases within our borders and around the globe. It is does so responsibly, offsetting $750 million of these funds and placing strong oversight controls on the use of every dollar.
“Just as importantly, the Conference Report contains funding for military construction and veterans benefits programs at $82.5 billion – an increase of $2.6 billion above current levels. This underscores our commitment to providing the defense infrastructure our troops and their families need, and to fulfilling our promises to our veterans once they have completed their service.
“This legislation epitomizes the priorities that this entire Congress can and should get behind. I urge the Senate to approve it quickly, so it can be signed into law as soon as possible.”
For a summary of the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs portion of the Conference Report, please visit:
For a summary of the Zika Prevention and Response portion of the Conference Report, please visit:
For the text of the legislation, please visit: