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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Military Construction: A Snapshot of the President’s FY2013 Appropriations Request

Daniel H. Else
Specialist in National Defense

The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. Title I of the bill capitalizes military family housing and the U.S. share of the NATO Security Investment Program and finances the implementation of installation closures and realignments. Other titles within the legislation fund veterans benefit and health care programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provide for the creation and maintenance of U.S. cemeteries and battlefield monuments within the United States and abroad, and support the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Armed Forces Retirement Homes, and Arlington National Cemetery. The bill also funds advance appropriations for veterans’ medical services.

President Barack Obama submitted his request to Congress for FY2013 appropriations on February 13, 2013. For the appropriations accounts included in this bill, his request totaled $145.2 billion in new budget authority, divided into three major categories: Title I (military construction and family housing) at $11.2 billion; Title II (veterans affairs) at $135.6 billion; and Title III (related agencies) at $219.5 million. Of the total, $74.4 billion (49.9%) would be discretionary appropriations, with the remainder considered mandatory.

Military construction funding amounts requested by the President and enacted by Congress have fallen off as the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) round has reached completion, although Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has requested statutory authority to carry out two new BRAC rounds in 2013 and 2015. Funding support for military family housing construction has also declined as the military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force) continue their efforts to privatize formerly government-owned accommodations.

The House Committee on Appropriations reported its FY2013 bill (H.R. 5854) on May 16, 2012 (H.Rept. 112-491) and passed the bill on May 31. It was received in the Senate on June 5. The Senate Committee on Appropriations reported its bill (S. 3215) on May 22 (S.Rept. 112-168), and the bill was placed on the Legislative Calendar under General Orders.

Date of Report: June 22, 2012
Number of Pages: 25
Order Number: R42376
Price: $29.00

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