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Military Construction, Veterans Spending Bill Approved by Senate Committee

On April 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, by a vote of 30-0, the FY2017 Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies approved the legislation on April 13; the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the bill (as-yet-unnumbered) on April 13 (see The Source, 4/15/16).

According to the committee summary, the bill would provide $83 billion in discretionary funding for FY2017. This amount is $3.1 billion over FY2016 and $160 million over President Obama’s FY2017 budget request.

Military construction programs would receive $7.93 billion in FY2017. This amount is $241 million below FY2016, but $486 million over the administration’s request. Included in the funding is $1.3 billion for family housing, which is equal to the president’s request and $84 million below FY2016.

The measure would allocate $177.4 billion in overall funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This amount is $14.7 billion over FY2016 and includes $102.5 billion and $74.86 billion in mandatory and discretionary funding, respectively. VA medical services would receive $65.5 billion in FY2017, including $5.3 billion “in total health care for the more than 500,000 female veterans who use the VA health system.” Within that funding is $535 million for gender-specific health care.

Additional information will be made available once the committee releases its report.

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