Summary: H.R.2528 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Public Law No: 109-114 (11/30/2005)

(This measure has not been amended since the Conference Report was filed in the House on November 18, 2005. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2006 - Title I: Department of Defense - Appropriates funds for FY2006 for the Department of Defense (DOD) for: (1) military construction for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, and Air Force (military departments), DOD, the Army and Air National Guard, and the Army, Naval, and Air Force reserves; (2) the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Security Investment Program; (3) family housing and related operation and maintenance for the military departments and DOD; (4) the Department of Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund; and (5) the Department of Defense Base Closure Account 1990 and the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Account 2005.

Specifies restrictions and authorizations regarding the use of funds appropriated in this title and in other military construction appropriations Acts.

(Sec. 113) Directs the Secretary of Defense to notify the appropriate congressional committees 30 days in advance of the plans and scope of any proposed military exercise involving U.S. personnel if construction costs are anticipated to exceed $100,000.

(Sec. 118) Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriations committees on actions proposed by DOD to encourage other member nations of NATO, Japan, Korea, and U.S. allies bordering the Arabian Sea to assume a greater share of the common defense burden of such nations and the United States.

(Sec. 121) Prohibits this Act's funds from being obligated for Partnership for Peace programs in the new independent states of the former Soviet Union.

(Sec. 122) Requires the Secretary of the military department concerned, at least 60 days prior to issuing any solicitation for a contract with the private sector for military family housing, to notify the appropriations committees of any guarantee (including the making of mortgage or rental payments) proposed to be made to the private party in the event of: (1) the closure or realignment of the installation for which housing is provided; (2) a reduction in force of units stationed at such installation; or (3) the extended deployment overseas of units stationed at such installation.

(Sec. 123) Authorizes the transfer of DOD funds for expenses associated with the Homeowners Assistance Program under the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1996.

(Sec. 125) Prohibits any funds made available in this Act for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program from being obligated or expended for missile defense studies.

(Sec. 126) Requires the Secretary or any other DOD official, when requested by specified congressional subcommittees to respond to a question or inquiry pursuant to a subcommittee hearing or other authorized activity, to respond to such request within 21 days.

(Sec. 128) Prohibits any funds from being obligated or expended to carry out a military construction, land acquisition, or family housing project at or for a military installation approved for closure, or at a military installation for supporting a function that has been approved for realignment to another installation, in 2005 under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, unless such project will support a new mission or function, or unless the Secretary certifies that the cost of carrying out the project would be less than the cost of canceling the project, or that another government agency will assume ownership of the completed project. Prohibits the Secretary from transferring funds made available as a result of this limitation to another account or using such funds for another purpose or project without the prior approval of the appropriations committees.

(Sec. 129) Makes specified funds from the Department of Defense Base Closure Account 1990 available for environmental restoration and property management and disposal at Navy installations closed or realigned under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990. Directs the Secretary of the Navy to submit to the appropriations committees a plan for the use of such funds, including specific sites and work to be accomplished.

(Sec. 130) Requires the Secretary to submit to the appropriations committees a housing plan for Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Prohibits the use of family housing construction funds from this title at such base until both committees approve such plan or until 30 days have elapsed since both committees received such plan, whichever is earlier.

Title II: Department of Veterans Affairs - Appropriates funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs (Department) for: (1) the Veterans Benefits Administration; (2) readjustment benefits; (3) veterans insurance and indemnities; (4) the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund; (5) the Vocational Rehabilitation Loans Program; (6) the Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program; (7) guaranteed transitional housing loans for homeless veterans; (8) the Veterans Health Administration (including for medical and prosthetic research and information technology systems); (9) the National Cemetery Administration; (10) the Office of Inspector General; (11) construction for major and minor projects; and (12) grants for the construction of State extended care facilities and veterans cemeteries.

Specifies restrictions and authorizations regarding the use of funds appropriated in this title.

(Sec. 208) Directs the Department to continue, without fiscal year limitation, the Franchise Fund program (previously a pilot program).

(Sec. 210) Makes funds from this title available to reimburse expenses of the Office of Resolution Management and the Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication, within specified limits.

(Sec. 211) Prohibits funds in this title from being available to enter into any new lease of real property if the estimated annual rental is more than $300,000 unless the Secretary of Veterans Affairs submits a report which the appropriations committees approve within 30 days after receipt.

(Sec. 218) Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans eligible under existing Department medical care requirements and who reside in Alaska to obtain medical services from facilities supported by the Indian Health Services or tribal organizations.

(Sec. 220) Prohibits any funds made available to the Department from being used to replace the current system for selecting and contracting for diabetes monitoring supplies and equipment.

(Sec. 222) Directs the Secretary to report quarterly to the appropriations committees on the financial status of the Veterans Health Administration.

(Sec. 223) Prohibits the use of funds: (1) to retroactively or prospectively revoke or reduce an award of veteran's disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with respect to 2,100 compensation cases identified and reviewed by the Department's Inspector General, unless the award was the direct result of applicant fraud; or (2) for implementation of a specified recommendation of such Inspector General, or any related review or investigation of PTSD unemployability and schedular 100 percent ratings cases, until the Department reports to the appropriations committees on its plan for implementing such recommendation.

(Sec. 224) Directs the National Center on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense to: (1) enhance the clinical skills of military clinicians; and (2) promote pre-deployment resilience and post-deployment readjustment among servicemembers serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

(Sec. 226) Provides for the transfer of funds from specified Department accounts for purposes of perfecting funding sources for the Department's information technology systems account.

(Sec. 228) Requires the Department to conduct an information campaign, in states with an average annual disability compensation payment of less than $7,300, to inform all veterans receiving disability compensation of the history of below average payments to veterans in such states, including instructions for submitting new claims and requesting review of past disability claims and ratings.

(Sec. 229) Earmarks funds for FY2006 for the HealtheVetVista project.

(Sec. 230) Continues through FY2006 the Department's homeless veterans' comprehensive services program.

Title III: Related Agencies - Appropriates funds for: (1) the American Battle Monuments Commission; (2) the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; (3) cemeterial expenses, Army; and (4) the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

Title IV: General Provisions - Specifies restrictions and authorizations regarding the use of funds appropriated in this Act.