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House Approves Conference Report to Fund Military Construction, Zika

On June 23, the House approved, 239-171, the conference report for H.R. 2577, which would fund the FY2017 Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill and efforts to combat the Zika virus. The House approved an earlier version of the bill (H.R. 4974) on May 19 (see The Source, 5/20/16); the Senate approved its version of the bill (S. 2806) on April 14 (see The Source, 4/15/16).

According to the summary, the bill would provide $82.5 billion in discretionary funds for the Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs portion of the bill. The amount includes funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Veterans Health Administration, as well as military construction and family housing projects at the Department of Defense.

The report would permit funding within VA Medical Services for fertility counseling and treatments for a covered veteran or his or her spouse.

The measure also contains $1.108 billion to combat the Zika virus. The House approved legislation to provide $622 million to address the Zika virus, while a Senate bill would have provided $1.1 billion. President Obama requested $1.9 billion for the public health emergency. The virus is linked to birth defects in babies born to women exposed to Zika during their pregnancy.

The following chart details funding levels for programs important to women and their families.

Program/

Agency

FY2016

President’s FY2017 Request

House 2017

Senate 2017

Conference Report

Military Construction $8.171 billion $7.444 billion $7.694 billion $7.93 billion $7.726 billion
Family Housing $1.404 billion $1.32 billion $1.32 billion $1.32 billion $1.276 billion
Department of Veterans Affairs (overall) $162.671 billion $177.545 billion $176.068 billion $177.391 billion $176.891 billion
Veterans Health Administration $66.376 billion $68.776 billion $67.898 billion $75.881 billion $75.633 billion

 

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