Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Chairman of the Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee package will provide more than $7 billion for military construction and veterans projects that will create more than 180,00 jobs in all 50 states. As Chairman, Johnson fought to include this funding as part of the economic recovery package to help struggling military families during these tough economic times.
“This funding represents a commitment by this committee to help our active duty personnel while making investments that will pay dividends for our military for years to come,” Johnson said. “As Chairman of the MilCon-VA Appropriations Subcommittee, I have worked hard to ensure that every dollar is spent responsibly. This funding is part of the overall $365 billion stimulus package from the Senate.”
The subcommittee provided $410.9 million to expand the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) to help Armed Service members during this national housing slowdown. The funding temporarily extends HAP benefits to service members affected by the 2005 BRAC relocations, those who receive relocation orders during the nationwide mortgage crisis, and to wounded troops forced to relocate to receive medical treatment.
Johnson also worked to appropriate $956 million to provide new and replacement housing for America’s military troops. The committee also appropriated $195 million, most of which will help improve claims processing at the Veterans Benefits Administration.
“This funding will have a direct and lasting impact for our troops at a time when they are fighting two wars and dealing with an economic slowdown here at home,” continued Johnson.
Military Construction funding includes the following:
- Child Development Centers: $353.8 million for child development centers at U.S. military installations.
- Health and Dental Clinics: $189.5 million for military family health care clinics.
- Warrior Transition Complexes: $505 million to meet the medical and social service needs of wounded military personnel and their families.
- Military Family Housing construction, repair, and upgrades: $135 million to improve housing conditions and speed the availability of housing to military families.
- Barracks and Dormitories: $956.5 million to provide needed new and replacement housing for America’s military troops.
- Army National Guard $150 million for community-based readiness centers.
- Air National Guard: $110 million, including funding for operational readiness, energy upgrades, and alternative energy projects.
Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities includes the following:
- Hospital construction: $1.1 billion to expedite hospital construction and other construction projects already underway.
- Minor construction: $939.5 million for construction projects, repairs and expansion of VA medical facilities, VA national cemeteries, and Veterans Benefits Administration facilities.
- Medical facilities repair and maintenance: $1.37 billion to address the backlog of maintenance and repairs at VA medical facilities.