Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2021 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Funding Bill
WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2021 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill on a vote of 30 to 20. The legislation supports our military personnel, bolsters resources for military families, and provides robust funding for veterans’ benefits, healthcare, and other programs.
In total, the bill provides $250.9 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding, an increase of $15.2 billion above the fiscal year 2020 enacted level and $2.3 billion above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, discretionary funding totals $115.5 billion, an increase of $5.1 billion above the fiscal year 2020 enacted level. This includes $350 million in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, as well as $12.5 billion in emergency appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs to address the sharply rising cost of providing health care for Veterans.
“The bill before us demonstrates our commitment to our servicemembers and their families and to our Veterans,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “The bill makes needed investments in the programs that improve our military readiness and provides the benefits and medical care that our Veterans have earned due to their service to our Nation. The bill also includes a new provision to prohibit military construction projects on installations named for confederate officers, who led and waged armed rebellion against the United States, until a process has been initiated to replace the name of those installations. We have finally achieved consensus with the Senate that the cost of VA healthcare is growing exponentially and cannot remain within the budget caps. For that reason, the $12.5 billion within the total is designated as emergency funding to adequately fund VA health care.”
“This year’s Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill makes critical investments in veterans and military families, reinforces our national security infrastructure, and blocks President Trump from stealing appropriated funds from servicemembers to pay for an ineffective, nativist wall or to backfill projects he already canceled for that purpose. In the midst of a global pandemic, this bill makes unprecedented investments in our veterans through our VA medical system to ensure that every veteran has access to the top-notch health care they deserve,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “In short, this bill builds a stronger VA and military, and leaves no one behind.”
The following amendment to the bill was adopted by the full Committee:
Rep. Wasserman Schultz – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
A summary of the fiscal year 2021 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill is here. The full text of the bill, prior to adoption of amendments in full committee, is here. The bill report is here.