A $106-billion military funding bill that includes $4.4 billion for defense and civil construction is heading to the White House for President Obama's expected signature. Final congressional approval for the package came on June 18, when the Senate approved it by a 91-5 vote. Most of the measure's funds will go to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The largest share of the spending bill's construction funding is $2.7 billion for the Dept. of Defense. Of that sum, $263 million will go to expedite hospital projects in Bethesda, Md., and Fort Belvoir in Virginia, and $488 million for other military hospital work in the U.S.
The Army's portion is $1.3 billion, including $425 million for "warrior in transition complexes," at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Lewis, Washington; and at Fort Sam Houston and Fort Hood, which are both in Texas.
Navy and Marine Corps construction is to receive $236 million, with most of the funds for child development center projects at 11 domestic locations.
The Air Force's construction allocation is $282 million, all of it for overseas work. The largest item is $84 million for a strategic airlift apron in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Appropriators also provided $896 million to the State Dept. for embassy construction, maintenance and security projects, including $735.5 million for facilities in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The package also contains $847 million to the Army Corps of Engineers for civil works projects, including $439 million to rebuild barrier islands and carry out other ecosystem restoration on Mississippi's Gulf Coast.
In addition, the legislation helps financially squeezed local transit agencies by allowing them to use up to 10% of their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act formula funds for operating expenses.