On April 22, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2016 Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill (H.R. 2029). The Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee passed the measure on April 15 (see The Source, 4/17/15).
According to the committee report, the bill would allocate $171.136 billion overall for FY2016. This amount is $4.975 billion over FY2015, but $2.196 billion below President Obama’s FY2016 request. The total includes $94.547 billion and $76.589 billion in mandatory and discretionary spending, respectively.
The committee urges the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and bolster relationships with organizations that work with female and male survivors of sexual assault (p. 38), and applauds the Veterans Benefit Administration for its efforts to develop and implement new training initiatives and procedures for PTSD claims related to military sexual assault (p. 54).
In the report, the committee expressed concerns about efforts at VA to address homelessness among women veterans and women veterans with children (p. 36).
As was the case last year, the committee expressed its disappointment in reports of VA providers sanding down prosthetics made for men in order to fit female patients and encouraged VA to focus on providing prosthetics for women (p. 47).
The following chart details funding for programs important to women and their families.
|Program/Agency||FY2015||President Obama’s Request||FY2016|
|Military Construction||$6.558 billion||$8.438 billion||$7.151 billion|
|$1.191 billion||$1.413 billion||$1.413 billion|
|Department of Veterans Affairs||$159.145 billion||$164.649 billion||$163.208 billion|
Veterans Health Administration
|$59.46 billion||$65.192 billion||$64.847 billion|