McCollum Statement on Appropriations Committee Passing FY 2020 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Funding Bill
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) today joined House Appropriations Democrats in voting to approve the FY 2020 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs funding bill. The investments in this legislation ensures that our military has the facilities needed to meet current and emerging threats, veterans have access to the quality care and services they’ve earned, and families have access to clean and safe housing.
The bill includes $108.1 billion in discretionary funding, $10 billion more than in FY 2019. Other important provisions ensure we’re upholding our commitments to servicemembers, veterans, and military families:
- Department of Veterans Affairs – The bill provides $217.5 billion in funding for health and earned benefits for veterans, an increase of $20.3 billion above the fiscal year 2019 level.
- VA Medical Care – The bill funds VA medical care at $80.4 billion – providing for approximately seven million patients to be treated in fiscal year 2020. Within this total, funding includes: $9.4 billion in mental health care services; $222 million in suicide prevention outreach activities; $582 million for gender-specific care for women; $1.9 billion for homeless assistance programs; $397 million for opioid abuse prevention; and $270 million in rural health initiatives.
- Military Construction – The bill provides $10.5 billion for military construction projects, including operational facilities, training facilities, hospitals, family housing, National Guard readiness centers, barracks, and other important facilities. The bill also includes $2 billion for emergency repairs related to Hurricanes Florence and Michael.
“This bill provides increased funding to ensure that our veterans, service members, and their families have the resources and quality care they earned serving our nation,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “I’m particularly pleased that this bill includes additional funding to expand creative arts therapies to treat traumatic brain injuries and other psychological health conditions that impact our veterans, as well as additional funding for burn pit research to understand the health impacts on those service members exposed to airborne hazards while deployed overseas.”