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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

House Debate over Milcon Spending Bill to Finish Next Week

  • June 5, 2011
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After briefly taking up the fiscal 2012 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill Thursday evening, House leaders put off further consideration of the legislation on Friday so the chamber could take up a resolution dealing with President Obama’s handling of U.S. military action in Libya.

Debate over the spending measure, H.R. 2055, will continue on the House floor next week when lawmakers return from recess.

One issue likely to come up for debate will be the use of project labor agreements for construction funded by the bill. Democrats are expected to introduce an amendment to remove a provision prohibiting the use of such agreements, reported CQ Today. Republicans largely oppose the agreements, arguing that they are anti-competitive and raise the cost of federal construction.

Separately, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee approved its draft fiscal 2012 spending bill Wednesday in a closed session. The spending measure would provide $530 billion in non-emergency defense spending, a 3 percent increase, or $17 billion, over FY 2011 but a decline of $9 billion from President Obama’s budget request.

Elementary and secondary public schools at military installations would receive $250 million in funding under one provision in the bill. A separate provision would provide $33 million to help Guam’s civilian population accommodate the relocation of 8,600 Marines from Okinawa. The money could be used for needs such as vehicles and supplies for civilian student transportation, preservation and repository of artifacts unearthed during military construction, and construction of a mental health and substance abuse facility.

The spending bill is available on the Appropriations Committee’s website.

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