House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a $106-billion supplemental spending bill for fiscal 2009 that most funds the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but also contains about $4.4 billion for defense and non-military construction, much of it in the U.S.
The conference agreement, approved June 11 by House and Senate appropriators, is expected to go to the House and Senate floors during the week of June 15.
The measure's construction allocations include $2.7 billion for Dept. of Defense construction, including $263 million to finish hospital projects in Bethesda, Md., and Fort Belvoir in Virginia; $488 million for other military hospital construction in the U.S.; and $170 million to begin construction of a National Security Agency data center.
The military construction total basically splits the difference between the House-recommended $3.2 billion and the Senate bill's $2.25 billion.
Appropriators also provided $896 million to the State Dept. for new embassy and consulate facilities in Pakistan.
In addition, the conference agreement provides $847 million to the Army Corps of Engineers for work along the Gulf Coast, including rebuilding barrier islands and other ecosystem restoration. The Senate bill provided $842 million for Corps civil works projects; the House version had zero.
The legislation also permits transit agencies to use up to 10% of their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act formula funds for operating expenses. That provision is aimed at helping financially pinched agencies keep personnel on their payrolls.