Most media reports have focused on the pandemic response portions of Congress’ last-minute, $900 billion omnibus spending deal reached this week and signed into law by President Donald Trump. But almost $700 billion of the deal was defense-related appropriations provisions.
According to a bill summary released by the House Appropriations Committee, provisions include:
- $60 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP), a 10% increase over the previous year’s spending on this ADC priority;
- Full funding for a 3% service member pay raise;
- $1.3 billion to fund construction, operation and maintenance of military family housing with an additional $60 million to address such issues as mold, vermin and lead to “ensure quality housing for all 2,006,171 military families served by the program,” the committee document states;
- $284 million for public schools on installations;
- $596 million to build or update Guard and Reserve facilities;
- $180 million to address legacy Navy BRAC issues and PFAS concerns at installations;
- $15 million to continue CDC’s study of the health impact of PFOS/PFAS-contaminated water;
- $50 million for noise mitigation tools in communities;
- $316 million for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), including increases for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and the Transition Assistance Program; and
- $375 million for the DOD inspector general’s oversight of funding provided to DOD earlier this year in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The legislation also calls for individual relief checks of up to $600, which Americans could start to see next week, and an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program. It does not include direct relief to state and local governments, as many Democrats wanted, or funding to rename bases currently named for confederate leaders.
Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jackson N. Haddon