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House Committee Passes Military Construction, Veterans Spending Bill

On April 13, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2017 Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies approved the legislation on March 23 (see The Source, 3/25/16).

According to the committee report, the bill would allocate $184.175 billion overall for FY2017. This amount is $13.05 billion over FY2016, but $1.277 billion below President Obama’s FY2017 request. The total includes $102.532 billion and $81.643 billion in mandatory and discretionary spending, respectively.

The report contains several provisions to address the needs of women veterans. Recognizing the unique challenges facing women veterans, the committee directs VA to provide mental health services to women veterans (p. 38) and ensure all VA medical facilities provide and increase access to gender-specific care to women veterans (p. 43). The committee renews its request that VA report on prosthetics for female veterans (p. 51) and directs VA to report quarterly on its work with women-owned small businesses (p. 55).

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

Program/Agency FY2016 President Obama’s Request FY2017
Military Construction $8.171 billion $7.444 billion $7.694 billion
Family Housing $1.404 billion $1.319 billion $1.319 billion
Department of Veterans Affairs $162.671 billion $177.545 billion $176.068 billion
Veterans Health Administration $66.376 billion $68.776 billion $67.898 billion
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