The subcommittee bill provides total funding of $146.6 billion for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies for fiscal year 2013. (This figure includes $52.54 billion in previously appropriated advances for veterans medical care.) The bill includes $71.9 billion in discretionary funding and $74.6 billion in mandatory funding. The bill also includes $54.5 billion in fiscal year 2014 advance appropriations for veterans medical services.
Discretionary funding is $465.9 million below the President's budget request and $227.7 million above the fiscal year 2012 enacted level.
Title I -- Military Construction and Family Housing
The bill provides $10.6 billion for military construction and family housing, $568.9 million below the budget request and $2.4 billion below fiscal year 2012 enacted
Active component military construction: $7.1 billion to fund military construction projects worldwide, including operational, training, and research facilities, barracks, schools, hospitals, and clinics. The recommendation is $568.9 million below the President's request and $2.6 billion below the fiscal year 2012 enacted level.
Reserve component military construction: $1 billion for readiness centers, training facilities, and related military construction necessary for the training and administration of the reserve components. This is equal to the request, and $207.7 million below fiscal year 2012 enacted.
Family Housing: $1.6 billion as requested for family housing construction and privatization projects, equal to the request and $32.1 million below fiscal year 2012 enacted.
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): $476 million for BRAC, including $126.7 million for BRAC 2005 and $349.4 million for BRAC 1990, as requested. This is $106.2 million below fiscal year 2012 enacted.
NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP): $254.1 million as requested to fund the U.S. share of joint U.S.-NATO military facilities, $6.5 million above fiscal year 2012 enacted.
Chemical Demilitarization Construction: $151 million as requested, $75.6 million above fiscal year 2012 enacted.
Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP): $150 million as requested for planning and design to accelerate the Defense Department's efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas production on military installations.
Title II -- Department of Veterans Affairs
The bill provides $135.6 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for fiscal year 2013 (this figure includes $52.54 billion in previously appropriated advances for veterans medical care). The total includes $74.6 billion for mandatory programs, equal to the request and $10.8 billion above fiscal year 2012 enacted. For VA discretionary funding, the bill provides $60.9 billion, equal to the request and $2.5 billion above fiscal year 2012 enacted.
The VA fiscal year 2013 budget request included $165 million in additional funding to supplement the advance appropriation provided in fiscal year 2012. The Department based the additional request on updates to VA medical care projections for fiscal year 2013. The bill provides an additional $155 million for medical care plus an additional $8 million for the Board of Veterans Appeals to address the immense backlog of appeals, and an additional $2 million for the Office of Inspector General to strengthen the VA's internal oversight.
Rural Health: Building on the Rural Health Initiative launched by the Committee in fiscal year 2009 to close gaps in VA service in rural and remote areas, the bill provides $250 million as requested for medical care, including telehealth and mobile clinics, for veterans in rural and highly rural areas, including Native American populations.
Homeless Veterans Programs: $5.76 billion for health care and support services for homeless veterans. This includes $1.35 billion in direct programs to assist homeless veterans, including $244.6 million for the HUD-VASH program and $235 million for the Homeless Grant Per Diem Program.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans: $3.28 billion as requested to meet the health care needs of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, a $510 million increase over fiscal year 2012. The VA estimates that the number of OEF/OIF veterans in its health care system will reach 610,416 in 2013. This funding includes medical treatment associated with combat-related injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Women Veterans Programs: $403 million as requested to meet the unique needs of women veterans.
Medical and Prosthetic Research: $582.7 million, equal to the budget request, for research in a number of areas, including mental health, TBI, spinal cord injury, burn injury, polytrauma injuries, and sensory loss.
Long Term Care: $7.2 billion for long term care for the Nation's aging veterans as well as severely wounded combat veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The funding includes both institutional and home based care programs. The bill provides $85 million for grants for the construction of State extended care facilities.
Information Technology (IT): $3.327 billion for IT projects, equal to the request. Funding includes $169 million for the integrated electronic health record and $38.5 for the development of a paperless claims systems.
Office of Inspector General (IG): The bill includes $115 million for the IG's office. This is $2.0 million over the President's request and $2.6 million over the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. The recommendation includes the additional resources for the IG to increase audits of Veterans Health Administration facilities in the field.
Board of Veterans Appeals: The recommendation includes $86 million for the Board of Veterans Appeals, an increase of $8 million over the budget request. The justification accompanying the budget request projects that the Board's average time to resolve a disability claim on appeal will be 650 days in fiscal year 2013. The VA also projects the appeals backlog to grow to 65,611 claims in 2013 from the current projected level of 39,283. The funding increase is to provide additional personnel to assist in reducing the wait time and backlog. The Board of Veterans Appeals is the only general administration office that received an increase in fiscal year 2013. All other general administration offices were frozen at the fiscal year 2012 enacted level.
Title III -- Related Agencies
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC): $73.6 million, equal to the request and $3.5 million below fiscal year 2012 enacted, to support the operations and activities of the ABMC.
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: $32.5 million, equal to the request and $1.7 million above fiscal year 2012 enacted.
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC): $148.8 million, $103 million above both the request and the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. The budget request included $84 million for construction and $19 million for planning and design in the Military Construction, Army account in title I of the bill for expansion of burial space at Arlington National Cemetery. ANC construction has historically been funded within the ANC appropriation. Therefore, the bill provides the requested level of construction funding in the ANC account instead of the Army military construction account.
Armed Forces Retirement Home: $67.6 million as requested for operations, maintenance and the capital program. This is $14.7 million below fiscal year 2012 enacted.