The House was expected to vote by mid-June on three 2008 spending bills that would boost aid for Veterans Affairs, Dept. of Defense construction and for water infrastructure. But the measures, which the House Appropriations Committee cleared on June 6 and 7, also cut Corps of Engineers’ civil works funds to $5.6 billion, down 20% from 2007’s level, which included $1.6 billion in emergency spending for Gulf Coast rebuilding.
The panel more than doubled VA’s major construction account to $1 billion, increased aid for military construction (excluding DOD family housing) 61%, to $9.7 billion, and hiked defense base closure funds 44%, to $8.2 billion. Appropriators also increased aid for Clean Water State Revolving Funds 4%, to $1.1 billion, rejecting the Bush administration’s proposed 40% cut.