H.R. 5854 : Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

H.R. 5854

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
May 30, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Thursday, May 31, 2012, the House is scheduled to begin consideration of H.R. 5854, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013, under a rule. The bill was introduced on May 23, 2012, by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) and referred to the Committee on Appropriations. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 5854 would provide a total of $71.7 billion in non-emergency, discretionary budget authority for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in FY 2013, which is the same as the FY 2012 level. The bill would provide $10.6 billion for military construction projects, a decrease of $2.4 billion below last year’s level and $573 million below the President’s request. Funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs in FY 2013 would include $60.7 billion in discretionary funding which is $2.3 billion above last year. In addition, the legislation would provide $54.5 billion in advance appropriations for VA medical accounts in FY 2014. Including $74.6 billion in mandatory spending, which does not count against the subcommittee’s allocation, the bill would provide a total of $146.3 billion in budget authority for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding in FY 2013. H.R. 5854 would contribute to an overall level of discretionary budget authority of $1.028 trillion for FY 2013 as contained in H.Con.Res. 112, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013.

TITLE I—Department of Defense and Military Construction

The bill would provide $10.6 billion for military construction projects, a decrease of $2.4 billion below last year’s level and $573 million below the President’s request. According to Committee Report 112-491, a significant portion of this decrease is attributed to the deliberate pause in military construction by the Air Force and a continued decline in funding requirements for the BRAC 2005 process.

Department of Defense Military Construction: The bill would provide a total appropriation of $8.7 billion for Department of Defense (DoD) military construction, a decrease of $2.6 billion below last year and $338 million below the President’s request. This funding provides for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force and Defense-wide military construction, including reserve and National Guard construction.

Military Family Housing: The bill would provide a total of $1.65 billion for family housing maintenance and construction, which is a decrease of $32 million below last year and the same amount as the President’s request. According to the Committee, the funding provided will ensure quality housing is continued for 1,231,044 military families, and also supports privatization efforts of the remaining 7 percent of DoD family housing inventory. 

NATO Security Investment Program: The bill would provide $247 million for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Security Investment Program, an increase of $6 million over last year and the same as the President’s request. The program finances the provision of the installations and facilities needed to support the roles of NATO Strategic Commands. These investments cover such installations and facilities as communications and information systems, radar, military headquarters, airfields, fuel pipelines and storage, and harbors.

TITLE II—Department of Veterans Affairs

The legislation includes a total of $135.4 billion in combined discretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Funding includes $60.7 billion in appropriated funding and $74.6 billion in mandatory spending. Discretionary funding in the bill is $2.3 billion above last year’s level and $258 million below the President’s request. Approximately $52 billion of this discretionary total was provided last year via an advance of funding in the FY 2012 appropriations bill.

Veterans Benefits Administration: The bill would provide a total mandatory and discretionary funding level of $61.7 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration, an increase of $10.5 billion or 20 percent over FY 2012 and equal to the President’s request. The vast majority of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s funds are provided through mandatory spending for compensation, pensions, burial benefits, and other veterans’ benefits that were established in previous legislation.

Readjustment Benefits: Funding provided to the Veterans’ Benefits Administration would include $12.6 billion in readjustment benefits which finances the education and training of veterans and service members. The funding level represents an increase of $499 million or 4 percent over FY 2012 and is equal to the President’s request.

Veterans Health Administration: The bill would provide a total of $52 billion for the Veterans Health Administration, an increase of $1.9 billion over FY 2012 and equal to the President’s request. Funding for the Veterans Health Administration medical services comes primarily from advanced appropriations from previous years. Advanced appropriations from previous funding measures for the VA Administration for FY 2014 includes $41.3 billion for Veterans Medical Services, $5.7 billion for Medical Support Compliance and $5.4 billion for Medical Facilities. The bill also contains $54.5 billion in advanced appropriations to finance these programs in FY 2014.

Information Technology: The bill would provide $3.3 billion for VA information technology needs at medical facilities, an increase of $216 million or 7 percent above from FY 2012 and the same as the President’s request.

Operating Expenses: The bill would provide $2.1 billion for general VA operating expenses, an increase of $145 million above last year and the same as the President’s request.

VA Construction: The bill would provide $532 million for major VA construction projects, a decrease of $57 million from last year and the same as the President’s request. The bill would also provide $607 million for minor VA construction projects, an increase of $125 million above last year and the same as the President’s budget request.

VA Inspector General: The bill would provide $113 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the same amount as last year and the same amount as the President’s request.

Advanced Appropriations: The bill would provide $54.5 billion in advance fiscal year 2014 appropriations for the Veterans Health Administration for medical services, medical support, and medical facilities.

TITLE III—Related Agencies

American Battle Monuments Commission: The American Battle Monuments Commission, responsible for operating and supporting U.S. military monuments and cemeteries around the world, would be funded at $75 million, a decrease of $2 million from last year and $890,000 above the President’s budget request.

Arlington National Cemetery: The bill would provide $173 million for the operation of Arlington National Cemetery, $128 million more than last year and the President’s request.

Armed Forces Retirement Home: The bill would provide $67 million for the Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund, the same as the President’s request.

Additional Provisions

Use of Funds: The bill would prohibit funds from being made available to acquire land, provide for site preparation, or install utilities for any family housing, unless it has been made available in appropriations for military construction.

Steel Procurement: The bill would prohibit the procurement of steel unless U.S. producers and manufacturers are able to compete.

Project Labor Agreements: The bill would prohibit the use of funds for construction bid solicitations that require or prohibit project labor agreements.

E-Verify: The bill would prohibit the use of funds for any contract where the contractor has not complied with E-Verify requirements. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

Guantanamo Bay Detainees: The bill would prohibit the use of funds for the renovation, expansion, or construction of any facility in the continental United States for the purpose of housing any individual who has been detained at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Total Budget Authority (In Thousands)

Program

FY 2012 Enacted

President's Request

H.R. 5854

Change From FY 2012

Change From Request

% Change from 2012

% Change From Request

TITLE I--Department of Defense Military Construction

Army Military Construction

3,006,491

1,923,323

1,820,323

-1,186,168

-103,000

-39.5%

-5.4%

Navy and Marine Corps Military Construction

2,112,823

1,701,985

1,551,217

-561,606

-150,768

-26.6%

-1.0%

Air Force Military Construction

     1,227,058

388,200

388,200

-838,858

0

-68.4%

-8.6%

Defense-Wide Military Construction

3,431,957

3,654,623

3,569,623

137,666

-85,000

4.0%

-8.2%

Reserve Components

1,230,306

1,022,542

1,022,542

-207,764

0

-16.9%

0.0%

NATO  Security Investment

247,611

254,163

254,163

6,552

0

2.6%

0.0%

Family Housing Maintenance and Construction

1,682,946

1,650,781

1,650,781

-32,165

0

-1.9%

0.0%

Chemical Demilitarization Construction

          75,312

        151,000

        151,000

75,688

0

100.5%

0.0%

Base Realignment and Closure

582,319

476,093

476,093

-106,226

0

-18.2%

0.0%

Department of Defense Military Construction Total

13,049,647

11,222,710

10,649,317

-2,400,330

-573,393

-18.4%

-5.1%

TITLE II - Department of Veterans Affairs

Compensation and Pensions

51,237,567

61,741,232

61,741,232

10,503,665

0

20.5%

0.0%

Readjustment Benefits

12,108,488

12,607,476

12,607,476

498,988

0

4.1%

0.0%

Veterans Insurance and Indemnities

100,252

104,600

104,600

4,348

0

4.3%

0.0%

Veterans Housing Benefit Program (administrative)

154,698

157,814

157,814

3,116

0

2.0%

0.0%

Medical Services (Advanced Appropriation for FY 2014)

41,354,000

43,557,000

43,557,000

2,203,000

0

5.3%

0.0%

Medical Support Compliance (Advanced Appropriation for FY 2014)

5,746,000

6,033,000

6,033,000

287,000

0

5.0%

0.0%

Medical Facilities (Advanced for FY 2014)

5,441,000

4,872,000

4,872,000

-569,000

0

-10.5%

0.0%

Medical and Prosthetic Research

581,000

582,674

582,674

1,674

0

0.3%

0.0%

National Cemetery Administration

250,934

258,284

258,284

7,350

0

2.9%

0.0%

General Department Operating Expenses

2,018,764

2,164,074

2,164,074

145,310

0

7.2%

0.0%

General Administration

416,737

416,737

416,737

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Information Technology Systems

3,111,376

3,327,444

3,327,444

216,068

0

6.9%

0.0%

Office of the Inspector General

112,391

113,000

113,000

609

0

0.5%

0.0%

Construction of Major Projects

589,604

532,470

532,470

-57,134

0

-9.7%

0.0%

Construction of Minor Projects

482,386

607,530

607,530

125,144

0

25.9%

0.0%

Grants for State Extended Care Construction

85,000

85,000

85,000

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Grants for State Veterans Cemetery Construction

46,000

46,000

46,000

0

0

0.0%

0.0%

Department of Veterans Affairs Discretionary

58,470,368

60,998,481

60,739,683

2,269,315

-258,798

3.9%

-0.4%

Department of Veterans Affairs Total*

122,226,272

135,636,648

135,377,850

13,151,578

-258,798

10.8%

-0.2%

 *This account includes $74.638 billion in mandatory spending which does not count against the subcommittee allocation

TITLE III--RELATED AGENCIES

American Battle Monuments Commission

77,100

73,600

74,490

-2,610

890

-3.4%

1%

US Court of Appeals for Vets Claims

30,770

32,481

31,187

417

-1,294

1.4%

-4%

Army Cemeteries Expenses

45,800

45,800

173,733

127,933

127,933

279.3%

279%

Armed Forces Retirement Home

82,330

67,590

67,590

-14,740

0

-17.9%

0%

Related Agencies Total

236,000

219,471

347,000

111,000

127,529

47.0%

58%

TOTAL FUNDING LEVELS

 Discretionary Budget Authority

71,747,000

72,440,662

71,747,000

0

-693,662

0.0%

-1.0%

 

Cost

According to CBO, H.R. 5854 would provide $71.747 billion in discretionary budget authority for programs funded through the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013.