Department of Defense Infrastructure Capacity March 2016 report – click here
The House Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY17 draft spending measure on Wednesday by voice vote.
The draft measure provides $81.6 billion and relies on the discretionary spending level set in a two-year budget agreement signed into law in November (PL 114-74). Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) gave the subcommittee a “notional” discretionary spending level that adheres to the budget agreement’s $1.070 trillion topline across all 12 appropriations bills.
The bill would provide funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and healthcare programs as well as the Pentagon’s military construction accounts, including housing for military families. The Military Construction-VA appropriations bill also receives a slice of the Overseas Contingency Operations account, a war fund. The appropriations committee said Tuesday that $172 million is provided for OCO and European Reassurance Initiative projects. Most of the discretionary funding goes to the VA. Medical services at the department are funded at $52.5 billion.
The measure will go to the full appropriations committee when the House returns from its spring break, with a target date around April 13.
On the Senate side, Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has indicated he intends to devote significant floor time to the Appropriations bills this spring, and we anticipate Subcommittee and Full Committee markups to begin mid-April.
As you know, lawmakers have started the appropriations process without any agreement on an overall budget. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said no spending bills will move to the House floor until there is a budget resolution, but appropriators are proceeding with committee work in case a budget never materializes.
A budget resolution passed out of the House Budget Committee last week, but the conservative freedom caucus is insisting that mandatory cuts be attached alongside the budget. Many expect any cuts to entitlements would be blocked in the Senate, where Democrats could threaten a filibuster.
The Senate passed their version of a short term Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization which extended FAA programs and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund collection authority to July 15, 2016.
This week, the House passed the Senate version by voice vote. Next, goes to the President’s desk where he is expected to sign ahead of the March 31st deadline (when current FAA authorities expire).
Now that the House has passed the extension, Congress will have just over 3 months to come to a solution before the new July deadline. Congress could choose to enact another short-term patch of FAA authorities, or consider a long-term FAA bill. The full Senate is scheduled to consider S.2658, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, when they return from Easter recess in April. S. 2658 would extend FAA authorities to September 2017.
The House recessed on Wednesday for Easter break and will return April 12.
The Senate adjourned last Friday and will return April 4. Both chambers will be out for the remainder of March.
The next Weekly Legislative Update will cover the week of April 4-8.