Posted by on June 23, 2022 4:35 pm
Categories: News The Hill

House appropriations committee advances military construction, VA bill

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted 32-26 to advance its $314.1 billion military construction and veterans’ affairs appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023, sending it to the full lower chamber for consideration.

The topline includes $15.1 billion for military construction projects, as well as roughly $299 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The bill comes a day after the committee on Wednesday advanced its $761 billion defense appropriations bill.  

Between the two bills, the Pentagon would get about $776 billion in appropriations, $3 billion over what President Biden requested for the agency.

The military construction portion of the bill advanced Thursday includes $2.1 billion for family housing construction, of which $373 million would go toward addressing issues of mold and lead in military housing. The measure also includes $200 million to clean up per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances on military installations.

In addition, the bill includes $1 billion for construction and alteration of Guard and Reserve facilities, and $1.3 billion for shipyard infrastructure optimization.

For the VA, the bill includes $135 billion in discretionary spending, of which $118.8 billion is for veterans’ medical care.

Consistent with Biden’s request, the bill separates VA medical care from other non-defense discretionary spending.

The measure would appropriate $118.1 billion for VA medical care in fiscal year 2023, and $128.1 billion in advance fiscal year 2024 funding for such medical care.  

The bill includes $16.2 billion for non-VA medical care programs, including $2 billion for construction projects and $1.76 billion to maintain the VA Electronic Health Record System.

Separately, the bill includes $440.9 billion in discretionary appropriations for Arlington National Cemetery, the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Armed Forces Retirement Home and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

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