Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill
The House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriation bill provides $71.5 billion in discretionary budget authority which is a 2 percent decrease relative to the FY 2014 enacted level and is slightly below the President’s FY 2015 requested level.
The bill includes $6.55 billion for military construction projects, a 33 percent decrease relative to FY 2014 enacted levels, and $64.7 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs which is a 2 percent increase over currently enacted levels. The spending levels in the bill are consistent with the overall spending level approved by the House in the Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 96) and the Bipartisan Budget Act.
Military Construction and Family Housing Programs. The bill provides $6.55 billion in funding for military construction projects, which is equal to the President’s FY 2015 request and represents a decrease of 33 percent compared to 2014 enacted levels. The large decrease relative to FY 2014 reflects declining needs for new military construction projects. Included in the funding for military construction projects is $1.1 billion (a slight decrease relative to FY 2014 enacted and FY 2015 requested levels) to ensure continued quality housing for military families.
Veterans Affairs. Approximately $64.7 billion in funding is provided to the Department of Veterans Affairs by this bill, an increase of 2 percent relative to FY 2014 levels and 0.6% less than the President’s request. This figure includes $55.6 billion in advanced funding for veterans medical services that was provided in the FY 2014 omnibus bill. The bulk of the appropriation is used to provide medical services to the estimated 6.5 million patients that will be treated in FY 2015. In addition to general medical programs, funding is also provided for mental health care, suicide prevention programs, traumatic brain injury treatment, services for homeless veterans, and rural health initiatives.
Advance Appropriations for Veterans Medical Programs. Included in the legislation is $58.6 billion in advance FY 2016 funding for the Veterans Health Administration for medical services. This is the same level requested by the President and is approximately $3 billion above the advance funding level provided in the FY 2015 bill.
National Cemetery Administration. This bill provides $257 million in funding for the National Cemetery Administration, an increase of approximately $7 million from the FY 2014 level.