A House Appropriations Committee (HAC) subcommittee marked up the FY2012 Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill last week.  The HAC MilCon/VA subcommittee bill provides $14 billion for total Military Construction appropriations, $750 million below the president’s request.  The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill on May 23.

The bill cuts funding for military facilities construction projects by $650 million, but fully funds the requests for Family Housing, Chemical Demilitarization construction, the NATO Security Investment Program, and BRAC requirements.  Another $100 million reduction is from prior-year rescissions due to BRAC bid savings.

The subcommittee also reports that total Military Construction funding in their FY2012 bill is $2.6 billion less than the amount enacted for FY2011.  However, much is this reduction is due to lower BRAC funding requirements and prior-year rescissions due to bid savings on BRAC and other construction projects.

HAC subcommittee action on the MilCon/VA bill and the Homeland Security bill (also marked up last week) marks the beginning of Congress’s consideration of FY2012 appropriations bills.  Referring to the struggle to finish the FY2011 appropriations bills, HAC Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) told the press “I share the relief of you all that we have finally made it to consideration of fiscal year 2012 bills, after the long, painful process to finish 2011.” 

Rogers has vowed to complete all House committee action on FY2012 appropriations bills before the August recess.  Last year the HAC completed action on only the MilCon/VA and Transportation appropriations bills before the August recess.  The committee deferred formal action on the other bills to prepare and negotiate a FY2011 omnibus appropriations bill, which was completed after 14 months and seven continuing resolutions.