H.R. 5822 Amendments: Amendments to H.R. 5822 - Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011

H.R. 5822

Amendments to H.R. 5822 - Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
July 28, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 5822 is scheduled to be considered on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, under a structured rule (H. Res. 1559), which provides for one hour of general debate on the bill and makes fourteen amendments in order.  The following is a summary of the amendments made in order under the rule, each of which is debatable for ten minutes.  For more information on the underlying bill, please see the complete Legislative Digest.

Amendments

1) Rep. Holt (D-NJ):  Reduces and increases funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) General Operations Expenses by $20 million.  According to the sponsor, the intent of the amendment is to direct $20 million toward suicide outreach prevention which utilizes direct advertising and the use of online social media.

2) Rep. Buyer (R-IN):  Requires that $10 million of the $2.6 billion appropriated for VA General Operating Expenses be used to increase the number of VA employees available to provided vocational training and rehabilitation to veterans with service-connected disabilities. 

3) Rep. Buyer (R-IN):  Requires that $162 million of the $508 million appropriated for VA construction of minor projects be used for renewable energy projects at the VA’s medical facility campuses. 

4) Rep. Buyer (R-IN):  Requires that $8 million of the $2.6 billion appropriated for VA General Operating Expenses be used to fund the adaptive sports grant program and that an additional $2 million be used to provide supplementary funding for the Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events.  According to the sponsor’s office, the $10 million would be used to fund the second year of the VA/U.S. Paralympics Adaptive Sports Program for disabled veterans.

5) Rep. Cueller (D-TX):  Prohibits funds from the bill from being used by an agency to provide first-class travel.

6) Rep. Flake (R-AZ):  Prohibits funding for all member-requested earmarks for military construction contracts.  In total, the bill includes 523 earmarks, all but one of which were sponsored by Democrats.

7) Rep. Hill (D-IN):  Reduces and increases funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) General Operations Expenses by $100,000.  According to the sponsor, the intent of the amendment is to direct $100,000 to examine VA practices in accounting for returned Post-9/11 GI Benefit payments, either from a veteran or an institute of higher learning.  The amendment is also intended to direct the VA to issue a report to Congress no later than Jan 1, 2011, on any changes to increase efficiency and timeliness of accounting for returned payments. 

8) Rep. Gingrey (R-GA):  Prohibits funds from the bill from being used to exercise the power of eminent domain to seize private property for public use “without the payment of just compensation.”

9) Rep. Gingrey (R-GA):  Prohibits funds made available to the Department of Defense in this legislation from being used to renovate or construct a facility in the U.S. for the purpose of housing any individual who has been detained at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since September 11, 2001. 

10) Rep. Halvorson (D-IL):  Reduces funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) General Operations Expenses by $10 million and increases the funding for major VA construction projects by $10 million.  Generally, funds shifted to new accounts have an intended purpose, though no information was contained in the text of the amendment.

11) Rep. Bilirakis (R-FL):  Requires that $9.5 million of the $508 million provided for minor VA construction projects be used for the acquisition and construction of up to four post-acute, long-term care residential brain injury medical facilities.

12) Rep. Peters (D-MI):  Reduces, and increases funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) General Operations Expenses by $50,000.  According to the sponsor, the intent of the amendment is to direct $50,000 toward a program to re-label prescription drugs used in VA hospitals, allowing them to be sent home with discharged patients for outpatient use.

13) Rep. Peters (D-MI):  Reduces, and then immediately increases, funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) General Operations Expenses by $150,000.  According to the sponsor, the intent of the amendment is to direct $150,000 to create a program to review all VA contracts after every 90 day period of inactivity to determine if the funds obligated for the contract could be unobligated to be put to better use.

14) Rep. Garrett (R-NJ)/Adler (D-NJ)/Lance (R-NJ):  Reduces the funding for minor VA construction projects by $7 million (from $508 million to $501 million) and increases funding for the Grants for Construction of State Veterans Cemeteries by $7 million (from $46 million to $53 million).  The sponsors do indicated what the increased funding is intended to be used for in the text of the amendment.