Summary: H.R.5385 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (11/14/2006)

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007 - Title I: Department of Defense - Appropriates funds for FY2007 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, Navy, 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 Accounts of 1990 and 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 $750,000.

(Sec. 118) Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriations committees on actions taken by DOD and the Department of State during the previous fiscal year to encourage other member nations of NATO, Japan, South 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) 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. 122) Authorizes the transfer of DOD funds for expenses associated with the Homeowners Assistance Program under the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966.

(Sec. 125) Places specified restrictions and limitations on the obligation or expenditure of funds made available in this title or in any other military construction appropriations Act to carry out a military construction, land acquisition, or family housing project at or for a military installation approved for closure, or 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.

(Sec. 126) Amends the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, 2004 to direct that the Office of the Inspector General of the Coalition Provisional Authority shall terminate ten months after 80 percent of the funds made available to the Iraq Reconstruction Fund have been expended. (Currently, the Office is set to terminate on October 1, 2007, with transition operations authorized to continue through December 31, 2007.) Requires the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, prior to the termination of the Office, to prepare a final forensic audit report on all funds made available to the Iraq Reconstruction Fund.

(Sec. 127) Earmarks specified Army family housing and operation funds for the lease of additional housing units in the vicinity of Fairbanks, Alaska. Limits such leases to $25,000 per year over a five-year period.

(Sec. 128) Increases (with corresponding offsets) the amount of military construction funds available to the: (1) Navy and Marine Corps for a replacement vehicle bridge at the Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island; and (2) Air Force for the Air Force Financial Management Center.

(Sec. 130) Repeals a provision of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 which requires the Secretary of the Interior to immediately cease the plan to terminate deer and elk on Santa Rosa Island, California, by helicopter.

(Sec. 131) Increases (with a corresponding offset) the amount of funds available for the Department of Defense Base Closure Account 2005.

(Sec. 132) Earmarks funds under the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 for the construction of an additional bachelor enlisted quarters at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Mississippi.

Title II: Department of Veterans Affairs - Makes appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for: (1) veterans benefits programs; (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 the 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. 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) Makes appropriations unavailable to enter into any new lease of real property if the estimated annual rental is more than $300,000 unless the Secretary submits a report which the appropriations committees approve within 30 days after receipt.

(Sec. 212) Makes appropriations unavailable for hospital or nursing home care or medical services for a non-service-connected disability unless such person has disclosed to the Secretary current and accurate third-party reimbursement information.

(Sec. 216) Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans eligible under existing VA medical care requirements and who reside in Alaska to obtain medical services from facilities supported by the Indian Health Service or tribal organizations.

(Sec. 218) Prohibits VA funds from this or any other Act from being used for payment for E-Gov initiatives.

(Sec. 220) Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to report quarterly to the appropriations committees on the financial status of the Veterans Health Administration.

(Sec. 224) Prohibits this Act's funds from being deposited into the DOD/VA Health Care Sharing Incentive Fund.

(Sec. 225) Continues through FY2007 VA authority to provide outreach, rehabilitation, vocational counseling and training, and transitional housing assistance to homeless veterans.

(Sec. 226) Requires a report from the Secretary to Congress on the master plan relating to the use of VA lands at the West Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, California. Prohibits the Secretary from implementing any portion of the plan until 120 days after the appropriations committees have received the report.

(Sec. 227) Prohibits the VA from using funds available in this or any other Act to replace the current system by which the Veterans Integrated Service Networks select and contract for diabetes monitoring supplies and equipment.

(Sec. 228) Treats the major medical facility project for a VA Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a major medical facility project that has been specifically authorized by law, allowing the Secretary to take necessary actions to restore or replace the current medical center.

(Sec. 229) Earmarks funds for the provision of additional mental health services for veterans who served in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.

(Sec. 230) Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriations committees on actions taken to test veterans for vestibular damage.

(Sec. 231) Increases from $7 million to $10 million the VA major medical facility project threshold.

(Sec. 232) Authorizes the Secretary to carry out major medical facility projects and leases for which funds have been appropriated under this or any other Act.

(Sec. 233) Earmarks funds for the VA's Inspector General.

(Sec. 234) Prohibits available funds from being used to implement a business plan for a community-based outpatient clinic in Wagner, South Dakota, unless such plan contains an analysis of collocating such clinic with the Wagner Indian Health Service Unit. Earmarks funds for emergency room services at the Wagner Unit.

(Sec. 235) Requires the Secretary to carry out a study of, and report to the veterans' and appropriations committees on, costs associated with VA comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.

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

(Sec. 301) Makes Commission funds unavailable for the Capital Security Costs Sharing program.

(Sec. 302) Rescinds $500,000 of funds made available for the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims under the Military Quality of Life, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2006. Makes such amount available under this Act for implementation of the Appellate Case Management Electronic Case Files System.

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

Title V: Digital and Wireless Technology - Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2006 - (Sec. 502) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Program to assist eligible institutions in acquiring and augmenting the use of digital and wireless networking technologies to improve the quality and delivery of educational services at such institutions. Outlines application requirements, including matching funds. Requires the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, in awarding grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts (assistance) to eligible institutions, to ensure institutional diversity. Requires: (1) each institution receiving assistance to report annually to the Under Secretary on its use of funds; (2) the Under Secretary to conduct periodic assessments of the Program; and (3) the Under Secretary to report to Congress upon the completion of each assessment. Makes the following institutions eligible for such assistance: (1) a historically Black college or university; (2) a Hispanic-, Alaska Native-, or Native Hawaiian-serving institution; or (3) a tribally controlled college or university.

(Sec. 503) Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2010 to carry out the Program.