The Senate Appropriations Committee approved bills on July 17 that would increase fiscal 2009 funds for military, Veterans Affairs and embassy construction. Senate and House appropriations committees have approved several of the 12 FY09 spending bills, but no bill has reached the floor. That makes a big stopgap funding bill likely.

The Senate panel allotted $1.2 billion for major VA construction, up 12% from 2008. House appropriators provided $923 million for 2009. The Senate committee provided $24.7 billion for Dept. of Defense construction, including the base-closure account, up 20% from 2008, but about $100 million less than the House committee’s 2009 mark. The Senate committee also recommended $830 million for new embassy facilities, up 24% from 2008.