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Washington Highlights

House Appropriations Subcommittee Approves VA Spending Bill

April 4, 2014—The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee April 3 approved by voice vote its draft spending bill for FY 2015, the first of this appropriations season. No amendments were offered during the markup. Both Republicans and Democrats on the subcommittee applauded the “bipartisan achievement,” but it is unlikely that other spending bills will progress as smoothly.

The committee approved $58.7 billion in FY 2016 advance appropriations for VA medical care, which includes VA Medical Services, Facilities, Support, and Compliance.  The $58.7 million spending level matches the president’s budget at a $2.7 billion (4.82 percent) increase over the FY 2015 comparable level.

Also in line with the president’s budget, the draft FY 2015 bill includes $588.9 million for VA Medical and Prosthetic Research, a $3.2 million (0.6 percent) increase over FY 2014. It is unclear if the Committee anticipates the same decreases in other federal, and non-federal support as the president’s budget, which decreases total VA research resources to $1.86 billion in FY 2015, a decrease of 19 million (1 percent) [see Washington Highlights, March 7].

During the brief mark up, members on both sides of the aisle criticized VA and the Defense Department’s failure to seamlessly integrate their electronic health records.

House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said that the session was the earliest markup held for an appropriations bill since 1974. He plans to take up the bill in full committee the week of April 7.


Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806