Fiscal Year 2010 Military Construction – Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Fiscal Year 2010 Military Construction – Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs today approved its Fiscal Year 2010 funding legislation. The bill contains a total of $76.5 billion, which is a 5% increase over last year and $229 million over the President’s request for these programs.
The bill includes significant increases for critical military programs, including a $200 million increase to address unfunded requirements for the Army and Air National Guard, and for the reserve forces of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The bill also provides the President’s full request of $7.5 billion to continue the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 process.
However, compared to other Appropriations bills, this legislation contains a significantly smaller increase than non-defense, non-veterans spending discretionary spending bills - which average an additional 12% over last year’s levels.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis expressed concern with this funding imbalance.
“One of the most basic duties of Congress is to provide for the needs of our troops and our veterans. Unfortunately, this bill represents a questionable prioritization of funds – providing a 5% discretionary increase for our military and veterans while other government spending bills top 12%. This backwards-budgeting is not the right thing to do for our troops and vets and is not a fiscally responsible way to fund the government,” Lewis said.
Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Republican Zach Wamp also expressed concerns with the spending within the bill, and noted that vigilant oversight will help keep valuable military and veterans funding from being lost to waste and abuse. Specifically, Wamp called for increased accountability for the Veteran Affairs Information Technology program – a program that would total $3.3 billion in the bill including an $833 million increase over last year. The program has a poor track record of efficient funding management.
“We are talking about providing unchecked spending increases to the one account that the Government Accountability Office, the agency’s Inspector General, and our own staff have documented the VA’s inability to effectively manage its resources,” Wamp stated. “I would hope that we could do more in terms of restricting funds until certain requirements are met,” he continued.

112th Congress