Spending on military construction and family housing programs would rise by $228 million to $10.3 billion, under the draft fiscal 2019 spending bill the Senate Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee approved Tuesday. The panel’s recommendation roughly matches the overall funding level for milcon in the bill the House Appropriations Committee advanced last month. The measure will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, when the text of the bill will be released. The legislation would fund 169 milcon projects and provide $1.6 billion for construction, operation and maintenance of family housing, according to a committee summary. The bill includes $498 million for unspecified milcon projects for the services to fund their highest priority unfunded projects, according to a summary issued by the committee’s Democrats.
“While the Department of Defense did not take advantage of additional headroom provided by the 2018 budget deal to aggressively work to buy back years of using these accounts as bill payers — to the detriment of our service members and their families — this bill is an important step forward,” the Democrats’ summary stated.
The House is scheduled to take up a three-bill “minibus” package this week that will include the FY 2019 military construction spending title.