The Democrat-led House passed a five-bill, $383.3 billion minibus spending package Tuesday that would provide $108.4 billion in VA-Military Construction funding, according to a House Appropriations Committee press release.
The package, passed largely along party lines 227-194, provides an increase of $10.4 billion in VA-Milcon discretionary spending above the enacted fiscal year 2019 level, according to a House Appropriations Committee summary.
The VA-Milcon bill, traditionally one of the most bipartisan annual spending measures, drew heightened interest in the FY 2020 measure by also including a provision that would block President Donald Trump from redirecting DOD funding for building a southern border barrier.
“I’m thrilled that the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill strengthens our commitment to our servicemembers, their families, and our veterans – while not diverting vital military construction funding from previously approved national security projects for an unnecessary border wall,” VA-Military Construction Subcommittee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.
The bill is unlikely remain intact through conference committee negotiations later this summer. If the bill’s provisions survive conference negotiations, the White House has threatened a veto arguing the measure spends 9% beyond the President Donald Trump’s orginal budget request. The administration also opposed the provision against using milcon funds to build a southern border barrier.