The House Appropriations Committee May 9 approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) spending bill by a vote of 31-21. This markup follows the May 1 subcommittee markup and approval of the draft bill [see Washington Highlights, May 3], and May 8 full committee approval of 302(b) allocations for all appropriations bills [see related story].
The committee adopted four amendments to the subcommittee-passed bill, including a Manager’s Amendment offered by MilCon-VA Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), which “makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report.”
The subcommittee May 8 released report language to accompany the draft spending bill. The report includes language directing VA to release its Phase II research infrastructure assessment by Oct. 1, 2019. The Phase II report is a reassessment of laboratory space first published in 2012, and conducted in response to a Congressional mandate. The initial report showed nearly $775 million in deficiencies in the VA’s research infrastructure.