FY 2012 Milcon Appropriations Moves Past House
The House approved the fiscal 2012 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill Tuesday, adopting funding levels for the BRAC 2005 and 1990 accounts that have been adjusted somewhat from President Obama’s budget request.
The measure, H.R. 2055, 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. Environmental cleanup remaining from the first four BRAC rounds would be allocated $374 million under the measure, a $50 million increase over the president’s request and a $13 million increase compared to the current year’s funding.
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.
The bill also 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 House’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.
Small Handful of Amendments Debated
The House rejected an effort to prohibit any funds in the bill from being used to implement or enforce Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements. The chamber approved, however, an amendment allowing agencies to require the use of project labor agreements on certain construction projects.
Lawmakers also adopted an amendment introduced by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) requiring veteran-owned businesses to receive the same preferences in federal contracting other groups receive.
And in a test vote of a new procedure the House plans to use for other appropriations bills, the House voted not to split apart funding for veterans affairs from the overall spending measure. The technique would allow lawmakers to vote on funding separately for each agency in bills that contain multiple departments.