WASHINGTON, D.C. –- (RealEstateRama) — The House Appropriations Committee today unanimously approved the fiscal year 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. The legislation begins to rebuild the military by providing funding to house, train, and equip military personnel, for housing and services to military families, and to help maintain base infrastructure. The bill also funds veterans’ benefits and health care programs. Notably, the bill provides over $157 million to upgrade facilities at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
“This action is BIG!” said Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “With this legislation, the Committee provides the funding and policies necessary to deliver on our time-honored promises to our military and our veterans. The bill also includes strong oversight measures to assure that tax dollars are being used wisely and to stop waste and abuse in its tracks, so that our troops and vets get the most benefit of every cent.”
In total, the legislation provides $88.8 billion in discretionary funding – $6 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level.
Within this total, funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs is increased by $4 billion – 5 percent – over the fiscal year 2017 level, including funding to increase access to services for veterans, and to increase oversight and accountability within the department. This includes the advance funding provided for veterans in the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill.
Military construction around the world where our troops are fighting is increased by $2.1 billion – 25 percent over the fiscal year 2017 level – to provide the necessary resources to continue to rebuild our military, to prepare our servicemembers to face existing and emerging threats, and to care for military families.
The bill includes funding to help Joint Base-McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst prepare for the arrival of the Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker, providing money for a new hangar, apron and fire hydrant modifications, a maintenance training facility, “boom operator” and fuselage trainers and equipment storage building. In addition, the legislation provides $11.6 million for apron and taxiway improvements at JBMDL.
“The funding for New Jersey’s Joint Base is an endorsement of the installation’s current and future military value. Ensuring that the proper resources are available to conduct successful missions from New Jersey is vital,” Frelinghuysen said.
“It is no accident that the first appropriations bill of the FY 2018 cycle is legislation that delivers on our promises to our military and our veterans. This bill demonstrates our strong support for the brave men and women who have endured hardships and sacrifices through their service to our great nation.”