Today, the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) approved FY2015 funding for Military Construction (included in the total Department of Defense (DoD) budget request) and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The MilCon/VA bill is the first appropriations bill to advance in the House. At the MilCon/VA Subcommittee markup last week, HAC chair Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) said his goal is to “have all of the bills through the [House] full committee by July 4th.” Rogers acknowledged that is a very ambitious schedule. Last year, the HAC had completed action on only seven of the 12 FY2015 appropriations bills by July 4th.
The Military Construction portion of the MilCon/VA bill provides $6.557 billion for military construction projects, family housing, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), the NATO Security Investment Program, and Chemical Demilitarization construction. This amount is equal to the president’s FY2015 request, but $3.3 billion lower than the FY2014 enacted level.
The HAC bill reduces the DoD funding request for active component military construction projects by $165 million, but fully funds the request for reserve components military construction projects, and for the NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP), Family Housing, Chemical Demilitarization, and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The HAC bill takes no action on DoD’s proposal for another BRAC round in 2017.
The bill also provides an additional $125 million for construction projects that were previously authorized in the FY2014 Defense Authorization Act. This funding would go to projects for Navy and Marine Corps and Air Force active components and for Army and Navy reserve components. The bill also adds another $245 billion for the Army National Guard and Reserves the Army identified if the funds were authorized in the FY2015 Defense Authorization bill.
To offset some of this additional funding and bring the total bill in line with the president’s request, the HAC bill rescinds $204.6 million from prior appropriations Acts.