Daniel H. Else Specialist in National Defense
Christine Scott Specialist in Social Policy
Sidath Viranga Panangala Specialist in Veterans Policy
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. It capitalizes military family housing and the U.S.
share of the NATO Security Investment Program and finances the implementation
of installation closures and realignments. It underwrites veterans benefit
and health care programs administered by the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA), provides for the creation and maintenance of U.S. cemeteries
and battlefield monuments within the United States and abroad, and
supports 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, 2012. 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. On May 15, the House Committee on Appropriations
reported a bill recommending appropriating $10.9 billion for Title I (less $235 million
in funds rescinded from prior years), $135.4 billion for Title II, and $347
million for Title III.
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
Funding for the VA between FY2012 and FY2013 in the Administration request,
H.R. 5854, and S. 3215, reflects increases for mandatory veterans’
benefits and health care. The largest percentage increases between FY2012
and FY2013 are for mandatory benefits, primarily disability compensation
and pension benefits.
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. The Senate
received H.R. 5854 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: July 5, 2012
Number of Pages: 32 Order Number: R42586 Price: $29.95
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