BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this conference agreement. The MILCON/VA section of the conference agreement includes a discretionary total of $71.7 billion, a decrease of $1.4 billion below last year's level and a decrease of $2.1 billion below the President's request.
For Military Construction, the conference agreement provides $13.1 billion for military construction projects. And reductions to the budget request are possible because of savings on projects that were appropriated in previous years.
However, even with these reductions, the agreement funds family housing construction at $1.7 billion, which provides for a total of 48 new family housing units, 80 replacement units, and improvements to 216 family housing units.
For Veterans Affairs, the conference agreement provides a total of $122.2 billion for the FY12 programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, of which $58.5 billion is discretionary funding.
The agreement also contains $52.5 billion in advance funding for the VA, the identical level that was requested by the President for the VA medical accounts.
Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased that the conference agreement provides $45.8 million for Arlington National Cemetery, which is $700,000 over last year's level.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, the conference agreement fully funds the Armed Forces Retirement Home request and includes $14.6 million for the Armed Forces Retirement Home to facilitate the repairs at the D.C. campus to repair damages sustained by the earthquake in August.
Mr. Speaker, let me just thank the committee and the subcommittee staff for all of their hard work in putting the bill together in a bipartisan, bicameral, cooperative way, taking leadership from our chairman and our ranking member, who have worked tirelessly to get this appropriations process back to regular order.
I urge the adoption of the conference report, and I urge all my colleagues to support it. It's a good bill.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT