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House Passes “Minibus” Appropriations Bill

On July 27, the House passed, 235-192, H.R. 3219, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The bill consolidates the FY2018 Defense; Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies; Legislative Branch; and Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bills.

Department of Defense

The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 Defense spending bill on June 29 (see The Source, 6/30/17). The measure would provide $584.181 billion in discretionary funding and $73.9 billion for overseas contingency operations for the Department of Defense.

As amended, the bill would allocate $2 million to “provide the [s]ecretary of Defense the flexibility needed for technical assistance by U.S. military women to military women in other countries combating violence as a weapon of war, terrorism, human trafficking, and narcotics trafficking.”

The legislation also would increase funding by $10 million for breast cancer research within Defense Health Programs, as well as increase funding by $10 million for the Special Victims’ Counsel Program to address sexual assault.

Military Construction-Veterans’ Affairs

The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill on June 15 (see The Source, 6/16/17). The bill would allocate $88.8 billion in discretionary funding for FY2018. It also would provide $182.3 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and $10.223 billion for military construction.

The measure would provide $5 million for research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to focus on “the issues affecting veterans with PTSD and an opioid dependency.”

The legislation would require VA to use mammography standards adopted in May, and would maintain the provision that allows veterans and their spouses to qualify for infertility treatments.

Legislative Branch

The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 Legislative Branch spending bill on June 29.

According to the committee report, the spending bill would provide $3.58 billion in FY2018 for operations at the House of Representatives, Capitol Police, Library of Congress, and other Legislative Branch agencies. The Senate will adopt a separate measure to fund its respective operations.

The legislation would provide for an increase in funds for baby changing stations in public buildings controlled by the Architect of the Capitol.

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