FY ’12 Milcon Spending Bill Passes Full Committee
The House Appropriations Committee Tuesday approved the fiscal 2012 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill, adopting funding levels for the BRAC 2005 and BRAC 1990 accounts that have been adjusted slightly from President Obama’s budget request.
The measure would provide $209 million to finish implementing the BRAC recommendations from the 2005 base closure round, a $50 million drop from what that president proposed. The draft marked up by the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee May 13 included the full budget request, but the panel approved an amendment shifting $50 million from the BRAC 2005 account to the BRAC 1990 account.
As a result, Congress would allocate $374 million for environmental cleanup remaining from the first four BRAC rounds, under the measure. The reprogramming would represent a $13 million increase for legacy BRAC bases, compared to the FY 2011 allocation.
BRAC 2005 received $2.4 billion for FY 2011, which is intended to be the last year to carry out the recommendations.
The bill includes $483 million for construction of DOD schools to address problems highlighted in a report requested by the committee in FY 2010, matching the president’s budget request. The funding would refurbish 15 schools, six at U.S. installations and nine overseas.
Spending for military construction, the largest line item in the DOD portion of the bill, would fall $1.0 billion to $11.5 billion, compared to the current year. The subcommittee’s FY 2012 recommendation is $652 million less than the president’s request. Some of the decline can be attributed to lower-than-expected construction costs.
The committee adopted several amendments, with the most significant striking language in the bill to prohibit funds from being used to implement Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements on federal construction contracts. Another amendment would prevent the Army from relocating units of 200 personnel or larger unless the Army secretary certifies to Congress that the action complies with Army regulations.