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House Committee Approves Military Construction-Veterans Spending Bill

On June 15, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2018 Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee approved the legislation on June 12.

According to the committee report, the bill would allocate $88.8 billion in discretionary funding for FY2018, $6 billion above FY2017 and $573 million below President Trump’s FY2018 budget request.

For military construction projects, the bill would provide $10.223 billion, which is $2.1 billion over FY2017. This amount includes $683 million for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and $1.407 billion for military family housing construction projects. This amount is an increase of $131 million over FY2017 and is equal to the president’s budget request.

Additionally, the legislation would provide the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with $182.3 billion in total funding for FY2018, $5.3 billion above FY2017 level. This amount includes $78.3 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $3.9 billion above FY2017.

The report contains several provisions to address the needs of women veterans, including the committee’s request that the VA report on prosthetics research for female veterans (p. 64), and “renew its focus on improving access to mental health services for female veterans” (p. 44). The committee also urges the department to provide mental health services to women veterans affected by postpartum depression (p. 45), and to continue its efforts to ensure VA medical facilities provide gender-specific care to women veterans, including breast cancer screenings and maternity care (pp. 52, 53).

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

Program/Agency

FY2017

President’s Budget Request

FY2018

Military Construction*

$7.726 billion

$9.782 billion

$9.585 billion

Family Housing

$1.276 billion

$1.407 billion

$1.407 billion

Department of Veterans Affairs

$176.941 billion

$182.661 billion

$182.277 billion

Veterans Health Administration

$68.437 billion

$73.989 billion

$74.047 billion

*Does not include Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

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