Spending on military construction and family housing programs would reach $10.3 billion next year, a $241 million increase over the current year’s allocation, under the conference report for a fiscal 2019 spending package covering the military construction-Veterans Affairs, energy-water and legislative branch appropriations bills. The funding level falls $130.6 million below the Pentagon’s budget request, however.
The bill provides $100 million in milcon funds — $50 million to the Air Force, and $50 million to the Navy and Marine Corps — to alleviate shortfalls in funding for access control points, air traffic control towers, fire stations and anti-terrorism/force protection projects, the conferees stated. “There has been much concern on both sides of the aisle that these types of military construction projects continually fall short of securing funding in a fiscal year due to higher priorities within the services,” according to the report. The services will need to submit a spending plan for the extra funds within 30 days after the bill is enacted, the report says.
Separately, the conference agreement provides $193.4 million for the Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program (ERCIP), which represents a $43.4 million increase over the budget request. The extra funds are intended to fund the top six unfunded requirements under the program, according to the report. The conference report includes an additional $5 million for the defense-wide planning and design account specifically for ERCIP.
A listing of the 167 construction projects worldwide funded in the measure is included in the conference report.
Photo by Patrick Buffett