H. Rept. 113-416 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
April 17, 2014, As Reported by the Appropriations Committee

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House Report 113-416 - MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2015




[House Report 113-416]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     113-416

======================================================================



 
     MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND RELATED AGENCIES 
                       APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2015

                                _______
                                

 April 17, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

         Mr. Culberson, from the Committee on Appropriations, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4486]

    The Committee on Appropriations submits the following 
report in explanation of the accompanying bill making 
appropriations for military construction, the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year 
ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose of the Bill..............................................     2
Summary of Committee Recommendation..............................     2
Comparative Statement of New Budget Authority....................     4
Management and Oversight Initiatives.............................    12
Department of Defense:
    Military Construction........................................    13
    NATO Security Investment Program.............................    22
    Family Housing Construction and Operation and Maintenance....    22
    Chemical Demilitarization Construction, Defense-Wide.........    25
    Department of Defense Base Closure Account...................    25
    Administrative Provisions....................................    26
Department of Veterans Affairs:
    Veterans Benefits Administration.............................    28
    Veterans Health Administration...............................    31
    National Cemetery Administration.............................    41
    Departmental Administration..................................    42
    Administrative Provisions....................................    55
Related Agencies:
    American Battle Monuments Commission.........................    59
    U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims....................    60
    Cemeterial Expenses, Army....................................    60
    Armed Forces Retirement Home.................................    61
    Administrative Provision.....................................    61
General Provisions...............................................    62
House of Representatives Report Requirements.....................    63
    Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives........    63
    Rescissions..................................................    63
    Transfer of Funds............................................    63
    Disclosure of Earmarks and Congressionally Directed Spending 
      Items......................................................    65
    Changes in Application of Existing Law.......................    65
    Appropriations Not Authorized by Law.........................    68
    Program Duplication..........................................    70
    Directed Rule Making.........................................    70
    Full Committee Votes.........................................    70
    Ramseyer Rule................................................    71
    Comparison With the Budget Resolution........................    71
    Five-Year Projection of Outlays..............................    71
    Assistance to State and Local Governments....................    71
    State Project List...........................................    72
    Minority Views...............................................    83

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of the bill is to support our military and 
their families and provide the benefits and medical care that 
our veterans have earned for their service to our Nation. This 
is accomplished through the programs funded in the bill, which 
provide the facilities and infrastructure needed to house, 
train, and equip our military personnel to defend this Nation, 
both in the United States and abroad; provide the housing and 
military community infrastructure that supports a good quality 
of life for them and their families; and allow the military to 
maintain an efficient and effective base structure. The bill 
also funds programs to ensure that all veterans receive the 
benefits and medical care that they have earned as a result of 
the sacrifices they have made in their service to our country. 
Finally, the bill funds four related agencies that provide 
support to our Nation's heroes: the American Battle Monuments 
Commission, Cemeterial Expenses, Army (including Arlington 
National Cemetery), the United States Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims, and the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

                  Summary of Committee Recommendation

    The scale of the Nation's debt and the continuing annual 
deficit weighed heavily on the Committee as it formulated this 
bill. A driving force behind the Committee recommendations was 
the bipartisan, bicameral discretionary budget caps established 
for fiscal year 2015. As part of the fiscal year 2014 
appropriations, Congress provided an additional $1,200,000,000 
to the Veterans Health Administration in advance funding for 
fiscal year 2015. This exceeds the increase provided for non-
security accounts within the discretionary budget cap, 
requiring the additional funds to be offset by reductions in 
other non-security activities. Similarly, it was essential that 
the Committee carefully review military construction activities 
and judge their merit against all security needs. As a result, 
the Committee recommendation continues essential support for 
servicemembers and veterans but does not provide funds for 
projects or activities that lacked sufficient justification or 
amounts in excess of expected obligations for the fiscal year. 
Where it was prudent, the Committee recommendation rescinds 
prior year funding that is no longer needed for the purpose for 
which it was appropriated while leaving sufficient resources to 
close out contracts.
    The Committee recommends $165,012,275,000 in budget 
authority for the fiscal year 2015 programs and activities 
funded in the bill. The fiscal year 2015 recommendation is an 
increase of $7,023,706,000 above the fiscal year 2014 enacted 
level and $397,696,000 below the President's request. Included 
in this amount is $93,512,828,000 in mandatory budget authority 
and $71,499,447,000 in discretionary budget authority.
    The programs funded in the bill for the Department of 
Defense address the priorities of the Department's Agencies and 
the Services for numerous facility challenges that they face. 
The funds provided support new construction, family housing, 
continued cleanup of military bases closed during previous Base 
Realignment and Closure rounds, resource the military's global 
re-stationing and force re-structure plans, and ensure that our 
military personnel and their families' quality of life is 
preserved within the constraints of the fiscal 2015 
discretionary budget cap for security accounts.
    The total recommended funding level for military 
construction and family housing is $6,557,447,000, which is 
$3,250,553,000 below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and the 
same as the budget request. During hearings, the Department 
testified that while this budget reduction assumes some risk, 
the Services chose to take risk in the military construction 
program in order to reduce risk in readiness accounts. The 
Services also noted that many factors are currently under 
review, such as force structure and European basing, which may 
impact construction needs. The Committee, while concerned by 
the reduction, acknowledges the merit of these issues. The 
Committee also acknowledges that the success of the Housing 
Privatization Program has dramatically reduced the need for 
family housing construction. Additionally, Congress has 
provided substantial funding in recent years through BRAC 
construction projects in excess of $24,000,000,000 and through 
funding initiatives for Guard and Reserve construction, 
barracks, hospitals and schools.
    Although the fiscal year budget request is a considerable 
reduction, the due diligence of the Department, the Services 
and the Committee will enable the military construction program 
to sustain the pause.
    The total funding level for fiscal year 2015 for the 
Department of Veterans Affairs is $158,221,261,000, an increase 
of 7.0 percent over the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Of the 
total, $93,512,828,000 is provided for mandatory benefit 
programs and $64,708,433,000 is allocated to discretionary 
programs such as medical care, claims processing, and 
construction. Discretionary funding increases by 2.3 percent. 
In addition to funds for fiscal year 2015, of which 
$55,634,227,000 have already been appropriated in advance, the 
Committee recommendation includes $58,662,202,000 in advance 
appropriations for fiscal year 2016 for the three health care 
accounts of the Department.
    The following table compares amounts recommended in the 
bill to the President's request and amounts appropriated in 
fiscal year 2014:
<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>

                  Management and Oversight Initiatives

    The Committee believes the effective stewardship of 
taxpayer dollars is of the highest priority. In the interest of 
eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal programs, the 
Committee has and will continue to use public hearings, 
briefings, and information requests, and reviews by the 
Government Accountability Office and the Inspectors General to 
promote strong financial and program management, oversight and 
leadership at the Department of Defense, the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, and other agencies under the jurisdiction of 
this bill.
    The fiscal year 2015 appropriations Act and the 
accompanying report address management challenges of the 
Federal agencies funded herein, including directives to 
strengthen financial and program management, eliminate 
redundancy, and improve implementation and oversight of 
initiatives that support the mission of this bill. The 
Committee will use every means at its disposal to reduce 
mismanagement that results in waste, fraud, and abuse.
    Department of Defense (DOD).--In addition to the 
notification and reporting requirements for military 
construction programs contained in Title 10, United States 
Code, the Committee's recommendations include several 
provisions requiring the Department of Defense to report on 
various aspects of military construction programs, or to 
provide notification to the Committee when certain actions are 
taken. The Committee also retains prior approval authority for 
any reprogramming of funds exceeding a specific threshold.
    Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).--With the 
$158,221,261,000 provided for the VA in this bill and the 
increase in the number of veterans seeking VA medical services, 
the Committee believes it is important to strengthen its tools 
to monitor spending as well as the skills and operating 
procedures of the VA workforce. The following initiatives 
demonstrate the Committee's oversight focus:
    VA electronic health record.--The Committee continues to 
feel it is critical to closely track VA's development of its 
VistA Evolution electronic health record. In the aftermath of 
the DOD and VA decision not to pursue a single integrated 
health record, it becomes doubly important to ensure that the 
two health records are designed in a way that permits 
interoperability between the two systems. The Committee 
continues the practice of the fiscal year 2013 and 2014 bills 
to include language requiring the VA to provide information on 
the VistA Evolution system before release of 75 percent of the 
funding provided. The fiscal year 2015 directive requires 
information to track the implementation of the system as 
described in the documents VA provided to fulfill the 2014 bill 
language directive. The Committee does not intend to delay the 
progress of developing the health record, but believes 
continuing oversight is necessary to ensure that the health 
record will have the capabilities and interoperability promised 
in the VA documents. The Committee also requires specific 
information on the planned interoperability capability of VistA 
Evolution, to be provided to the Committee by July 31, 2014.
    Disability claims backlog reduction.--In addition to fully 
funding the administration request of $173,318,000 for the 
Veterans Benefits Management System, the paperless information 
technology system designed to speed processing, the Committee 
provides $20,000,000 in additional funding for digital scanning 
of health and benefits files, the centralized mail initiative, 
and staff overtime to increase workforce capacity to reduce the 
backlog. The Committee bill continues the aggressive monthly 
reporting requirements from each specific regional office on 
claims processing performance and quarterly reports on 
remediation efforts at the poorest performing regional offices.
    Excessive overhead in medical services funding.--The 
Committee has heard concerns from Members that the VA retains 
too much of the funding provided by Congress at headquarters 
and at the regional health networks instead of allowing it to 
flow through to the medical centers. The Committee is 
monitoring the allocation process VA uses, mandating that VA 
provide information annually identifying the use of all funding 
retained at headquarters, as well as the funding retained by 
each network and for which purposes. In addition, the Committee 
is requesting regular budget information to better identify 
administrative expenses that are hidden in medical services 
appropriations.
    Stricter control of construction funding.--The VA 
historically has allowed billions of dollars for its major 
construction projects to remain unobligated for years at a time 
while VA completes designs, negotiates with contractors, and 
complies with local, State, and Federal paperwork. The 
Committee continues bill language limiting the availability of 
these funds to five years, which is the same period of time the 
Committee makes Military Construction funding available. The 
Committee understands that this limitation has already forced 
modifications to the VA construction process and anticipates 
that it will generate more efficient construction that will 
better serve veterans.
    Bid savings and project scope control.--In the past, the VA 
has had considerable flexibility in allocating funding for 
major construction projects. The Committee continues bill 
language requiring the VA to notify the Committee of all bid 
savings totaling $5,000,000 or more, or five percent, whichever 
is less, within 14 days of the contract, as well as the 
proposed use of the funds. Additionally, the VA is not 
permitted to make any change in the scope of major construction 
projects. With these tools, the Committee expects to gain more 
control of construction funding that is no longer needed for 
its original purposes.
    Notification of change in use of funds.--To ensure that the 
Committee is informed of and approves of changes in planned 
uses of medical services funds, the bill continues a 
reprogramming requirement for significant changes in funding of 
non-model initiatives.

                                TITLE I


                         DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


                     Military Construction Overview





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level (including rescissions)    $9,808,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................     6,557,447,000
Committee recommendation in the bill (including            6,557,447,000
 rescissions).........................................
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................   (3,250,553,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    Military construction accounts provide funds for new 
construction, construction improvements, planning and design, 
and host nation support. Projects funded by these accounts 
include facilities for operations, training, maintenance, 
research and development, supply, medical care, and force 
protection, as well as unaccompanied housing, utilities 
infrastructure, and land acquisition.
    Reprogramming guidelines.--The following reprogramming 
guidelines apply for all military construction and family 
housing projects. A project or account (including the sub-
elements of an account) which has been specifically reduced by 
the Congress in acting on the budget request is considered to 
be a Congressional interest item and as such, prior approval is 
required. Accordingly, no reprogramming to an item specifically 
reduced below the threshold by the Congress is permitted, 
except that the Department of Defense may seek reprogramming 
for appropriated increments.
    The reprogramming criteria that apply to military 
construction projects (25 percent of the funded amount or 
$2,000,000, whichever is less) continue to apply to new housing 
construction projects and to improvements over $2,000,000. To 
provide the services the flexibility to proceed with 
construction contracts without disruption or delay, the costs 
associated with environmental hazard remediation such as 
asbestos removal, radon abatement, lead-based paint removal or 
abatement, and any other legislated environmental hazard 
remediation may be excluded, if such remediation requirements 
could not be reasonably anticipated at the time of the budget 
submission. This exclusion applies to projects authorized in 
this budget year, as well as projects authorized in prior years 
for which construction has not been completed. Planning and 
design costs associated with military construction and family 
housing projects may also be excluded from these guidelines. In 
instances where prior approval to a reprogramming request for a 
project or account has been received from the Committees on 
Appropriations of both Houses of Congress, the adjusted amount 
approved becomes the new base for any future increase or 
decrease via below-threshold reprogramming (provided that the 
project or account is not a Congressional interest item as 
defined above).
    In addition to these guidelines, the services are directed 
to adhere to the guidance for military construction 
reprogramming actions and notifications, including the 
pertinent statutory authorities contained in Department of 
Defense Financial Management Regulation 7000.14-R and relevant 
updates and policy memoranda. The Committee further encourages 
the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to use a 
format similar to that used by the Office of the Secretary of 
Defense to submit reprogramming requests.
    Facilities Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization 
(FSRM).--The Department of Defense is directed to continue 
describing on form 1390 the backlog of FSRM requirements at 
installations with future construction projects. For troop 
housing requests, form 1391 should describe any FSRM conducted 
in the past two years. Likewise, future requirements for 
unaccompanied housing at the corresponding installation should 
be included. Additionally, the forms should include English 
equivalent measurements for projects presented in metric 
measurement. Rules for funding repairs of facilities under the 
Operation and Maintenance accounts are described below:
    (1) components of the facility may be repaired by 
replacement. Such replacement can be up to current standards or 
codes;
    (2) interior arrangements and restorations may be included 
as repair;
    (3) additions, new facilities, and functional conversions 
must be performed as military construction projects. Such 
projects may be done concurrently with repair projects as long 
as the final conjunctively funded project is a complete and 
usable facility; and
    (4) the appropriate service secretary shall notify the 
appropriate committees 21 days prior to carrying out any repair 
project with an estimated cost in excess of $7,500,000. The 
Committee strongly encourages the services and defense agencies 
to indicate the plant replacement value of the facility to be 
repaired on each such notification.
    Quarterly summary of notifications.--The Committee directs 
the services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (on 
behalf of itself and defense agencies) to continue to submit a 
quarterly report listing all notifications that have been 
submitted to the Committees during the preceding three-month 
period.
    Work in Progress or Planned (WIP) curve.--The Committee 
directs the services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense 
(on behalf of itself and defense agencies) to submit a WIP 
curve for each project requested in a budget submission over 
$100,000,000 with the 1391 justification to the congressional 
defense committees.
    Transfer of funds to and from the Foreign Currency 
Fluctuations, Construction, Defense Account.--The Committee 
directs the Department of Defense to submit a quarterly report 
to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress 
on the transfer of funds from military construction and family 
housing accounts to the Foreign Currency Fluctuations, 
Construction, Defense account. The report shall specify the 
amount transferred to the Foreign Currency account from each 
military construction and/or family housing account, and all 
other accounts for which an appropriation is provided in this 
Act, during the preceding fiscal quarter, and the amounts 
transferred from the Foreign Currency account to the above 
accounts during the same period. This report shall be submitted 
no later than 30 days after the close of each fiscal quarter. 
In addition, the Department of Defense shall notify the 
Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress within 
7 days of transferring any amount in excess of $10,000,000 to 
or from the Foreign Currency account.
    Bid savings.--The Committee has ascertained from cost 
variation notices required by 10 U.S.C. 2853 that the 
Department of Defense continues to have bid savings on 
previously appropriated military construction projects. The 
Committee's recommendation therefore includes rescissions to 
the Army construction account and NATO Security Investment 
Program. As a result of bid savings, the Committee directs the 
Secretary of Defense to continue to submit 1002 reports on 
military construction bid savings at the end of each fiscal 
quarter to the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans 
Affairs and Related Agencies of both the House and Senate.
    Facilities management, life-cycle costs, and construction 
method alternatives.--The Committee believes that the military 
construction program best serves both our military personnel 
and the taxpayers when projects are open to competitive bidding 
from contractors representing the widest possible range of 
construction methods. To that end, the Committee urges the 
Department of Defense and the execution agents for military 
construction, principally the Army Corps of Engineers and the 
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, to ensure that requests 
for proposals or qualifications do not arbitrarily foreclose, 
discourage, or privilege any type of construction method. The 
Committee continues to encourage a level playing field for both 
traditional construction methods and alternative methods such 
as permanent modular construction. The Committee also 
encourages DOD to evaluate the regular use of carbon fiber grid 
precast concrete technology in military construction projects.
    The Committee is also concerned by the recent report from 
the Government Accountability Office (GAO-10-436) indicating 
that varying services' attitudes toward the life-cycle costs of 
different construction methods were based more on pre-formed 
opinions, personal experiences, and anecdotal evidence rather 
than quantitative information or analyses. The Committee 
therefore urges DOD and the services to conduct further 
research regarding comparative life-cycle costs for differing 
types of construction, establish clear goals and benchmarks, 
and ensure these standards are communicated to contracting 
officials. Until such an empirical basis is established, the 
Committee urges DOD and the services to carefully reconsider 
blanket use of any new life-cycle approaches that depart from 
prior, standard practices.
    Life cycle costs and facility window technologies.--The 
Committee supports the Department of Defense's goal to promote 
cost-effective installations by reducing building energy use 
within the DOD, and is aware that advanced window technologies, 
such as electrochromic windows, can be a key part of achieving 
such goals. The Committee is aware of the need to provide 
additional support to sustain, restore and modernize the 
building stock of the DOD and believes that deployment of 
demonstrated building envelope efficiency technologies can 
further both goals. The Committee understands that such 
efficiency technologies have a higher upfront cost, making 
deployment difficult even when such technologies payback 
quickly. As part of the Department's funding for installation 
sustainment, restoration, and modernization, the Committee 
supports building envelope efficiency technologies when these 
technologies are justified through life-cycle-cost assessments 
and continue to follow existing Buy America requirements.
    Defense Access Roads FYDP.--The Committee is concerned 
about the lack of future planning for Defense Access Roads 
(DAR) and transportation infrastructure needs around bases 
beyond fiscal year 2014. The Committee urges the Secretary of 
Defense to work with the Secretary of Transportation to 
prioritize DAR certified roads and projects in the outyears 
2015-2018, specifically examining bases in communities that 
have contributed to transportation infrastructure that benefits 
bases and report to the congressional defense committees no 
later than 30 days after enactment of this Act on its findings.
    Defense Access Roads project timeline.--The Committee is 
very concerned about the lack of use of the Defense Access 
Roads program within the Department of Defense. The Committee 
has heard of many worthwhile road construction/expansion 
projects in and around military installations that are in great 
need of funding. These projects would provide a great benefit 
to the installations and the surrounding communities. 
Therefore, the Committee directs the Department to review 
needed projects around military installations as well as a 
timeline on when those projects will be completed and report 
back to the Committee not later than 30 days after enactment of 
this Act. If the Department cannot provide a timeline, they 
should explain how the program can be changed to meet those 
requirements.
    Facility closures.--The Committee is concerned that the 
Department of Defense will authorize the closure of military 
installations under Title 10 USC 2687, without adequate 
Congressional consultation. The Department is reminded that 
only Congress can authorizes a Base Realignment and Closure 
(BRAC) round. Therefore, the Committee directs the Secretary of 
Defense to consult with the Committee in advance of any use of 
title 10 USC 2687.
    Military construction priorities.--The Committee is 
concerned that the Department of Defense does not give the 
highest priority to projects that directly impact the safety 
and health of our servicemembers. The Committee believes that 
the Department of Defense should consider more than the mission 
requirements and training objectives of installations when 
prioritizing MILCON projects. The safety and health of our 
servicemembers is and will always be the top priority of this 
Committee. The Committee requests the Department submit a 
report to the Committee along with its annual budget submission 
that prioritizes projects that impact health and safety of our 
servicemembers.
    Dining facilities deficiencies.--The Committee is aware of 
serious infrastructure deficiencies at dining facilities at 
Joint Bases. The failure or unavailability of a dining facility 
would result in mission stoppage at certain Joint Base 
facilities, many of which use dining facilities constructed 
several decades ago as temporary structures. Further, relative 
to the total cost of training operations and in the context of 
critical training missions, the Committee believes that 
replacing severely deficient dining facilities is an 
appropriate, cost-effective method of preserving the mission 
capabilities at Joint Bases. The Committee strongly encourages 
the Department of Defense and each Service which oversees Joint 
Bases to take into consideration the necessity of reducing risk 
of mission stoppage by investing in the replacement of dining 
facilities that have deficiencies in infrastructure that cause 
health and safety issues.
    Air traffic control towers.--Air traffic control towers are 
a critical component of safe and efficient operation at Air 
Force and Army installations with aviation assets. These 
facilities ensure the safety of service members and the 
aircraft they operate, while preventing collisions which would 
also be dangerous for surrounding communities near Air Force or 
Army bases. The Committee strongly encourages the Air Force and 
the Army to prioritize the funding of replacement air traffic 
control towers where existing facilities may have obstructed 
views of their airfields or where structural, mechanical, or 
electrical components of a facility are severely deficient and 
impact its full operations.
    Aging infrastructure.--The Committee recognizes the need to 
fully support the Department of Defense's (DOD) requirement to 
replace the aging infrastructure at installations deemed 
critical in executing the current Defense Strategic Guidance. 
These installations support missions critical to our Nation's 
military pivot to the Pacific region and our Nation's reliance 
on these installations' ability to execute their assigned 
missions will undoubtedly increase in the future. This further 
highlights the necessity of DOD to ensure that such 
installations infrastructure is fully capable to support 
service requirements.
    Real property utilization. The Committee is concerned that 
the Department of Defense (DOD) is not be updating in a timely 
fashion its non BRAC Real Property Inventory Database, creating 
a significant obstacle to DOD's ability to maximize the utility 
of existing real property and to reduce taxpayer expenses. To 
address this concern, the Committee urges the Secretary of 
Defense to report to the Committee no later than 90 days after 
enactment of this Act on (1) the Department's strategy for 
maximizing utilization of existing facilities, progress 
implementing this strategy, and obstacles to implementing this 
strategy; (2) efforts of DOD's to systematically collect, 
process, and analyze data on real property utilization to aid 
in the planning and implementation of the strategy referred to 
in (1); (3) the number of underutilized Department facilities, 
to be defined as facilities rated less than 66 percent 
utilization, and unutilized DOD's facilities, to be defined as 
facilities rated at zero percent utilization, in the Real 
Property Inventory Database of DOD; (4) any mitigating factors 
for why facilities in the Database may be listed as zero 
percent utilization; (5) the annual cost of maintaining and 
improving underutilized and unutilized DOD facilities; and (6) 
efforts of the DOD to dispose of underutilized and unutilized 
facilities. The report may include a classified annex if 
necessary to fully describe the matters listed above.

                      Military Construction, Army


                    (INCLUDING RESCISSION OF FUNDS)




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $1,104,875,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       539,427,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       526,427,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................     (578,448,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................      (13,000,000)


    The Committee recommendation includes a rescission of bid 
savings under Administrative Provisions.
    Army Privatized Lodging Program.--While the Committee has 
been supportive of the Army's Privatized Lodging Program (PAL), 
the Committee is very concerned that the Army has not been as 
forthcoming when communicating with local communities regarding 
economic and related impacts of such facilities. There is a 
concern of local Hoteliers that these facilities will gain an 
unfair advantage by being able to offer rooms on Army bases to 
the general public while also benefiting from the Army policy 
of directing some transient soldiers to stay at on-post 
facilities when possible. The Committee believes that the Army 
needs to better address these concerns and therefore directs 
the Secretary of the Army to develop a proactive outreach and 
communication program with local communities with respect to 
the impact of both new and existing lodging facilities. The 
Department of the Army is directed to submit an outreach plan 
for such a program not later than 90 days after enactment of 
this bill.

              Military Construction, Navy and Marine Corps





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $1,629,690,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................     1,018,772,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       998,772,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................     (630,918,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................      (20,000,000)


                    Military Construction, Air Force





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $1,052,796,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       811,774,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       719,551,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................     (333,245,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................      (92,223,000)


    Air education and training command.--The Committee 
recognizes the important role that Air Education and Training 
Command (AETC) plays in recruiting, training, and educating 
Airmen. A key mission set filled by AETC is the initial and 
follow-on flight training for pilots and aircrews. This 
includes Initial Flight Screening, Specialized Undergraduate 
Pilot Training, Euro-NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) 
Joint Jet Pilot Training, Undergraduate Remotely-Piloted 
Aircraft (RPA) Training, and Undergraduate Combat Systems 
Officer Training among other programs. The Committee has been 
made aware of adverse impacts to aircraft, facilities, 
equipment, and operations due to flooding and deficiencies in 
infrastructure at AETC. The Committee encourages the Air Force 
to consider the impact these infrastructure deficiencies have 
on AETC's ability to train Airmen and to prioritize investments 
within the military construction account.
    Space launch infrastructure.--The Committee recognizes the 
national importance of having a safe, secure, reliable, and 
modern space launch range infrastructure to support the 
national security space mission. The Committee is aware that 
there are a number of aging facilities, with structural and 
technological deficiencies, that are indispensable hubs for 
command, telemetry, and radar support for U.S. space launch 
capabilities as well as warfighters down-range. The Committee 
is concerned that the current condition of the aging 
facilities, such as the Range Communications Facility at Cape 
Canaveral Air Force Station, the Air Force Space Command's 
number one current mission MILCON project for fiscal years 
2013-2016 and the impact such conditions may have on the 
ability of U.S. Air Force Space Command to meet its mission and 
operational requirements until such facilities are 
recapitalized. The Committee urges the Air Force to prioritize 
resources and future requests to Congress, as appropriate, to 
ensure that U.S. space launch range capabilities are in a safe, 
secure, and reliable condition.

                  Military Construction, Defense-Wide


                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $3,445,423,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................     2,061,890,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................     2,021,690,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................   (1,423,733,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................      (40,200,000)


    Reductions.--The Committee recommendation includes a 
reduction to Missile Defense Agency's planning and design of 
$20,000,000 and contingency construction of $9,000,000, the 
budget request. This account has not been used since 2008.
    Transfer of funds.--The accompanying bill provides transfer 
authority to the Secretary of Defense to allow the transfer of 
funds to such appropriations of the Department of Defense 
available for military construction or family housing as the 
Secretary may designate.
    DODEA school construction.--The Committee fully supports 
the fiscal year 2015 request for the construction of seven 
schools in the United States and overseas. The Committee 
however, is concerned that the changes that are occurring 
across the Department of Defense associated with force 
structure reductions may impact whether funding is needed at an 
installation or if it is determined not to be an enduring 
installation. The Committee therefore directs the Director of 
the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) to report 
on the status of DODEA funding and provide by location any 
funding that has been placed on hold for any reason to the 
congressional defense committees 90 days after enactment of 
this Act.
    Energy Conservation Investment Program.--The Committee 
believes that as new construction and retrofit projects are 
undertaken at facilities to improve building energy efficiency 
and achieve the objectives prescribed in statutes, executive 
orders, and initiatives, the Department of Defense is 
encouraged to utilize new and underutilized, low-cost energy 
efficient technologies that provide the best value to taxpayers 
through minimal lifecycle costs. The Deputy Under Secretary for 
Installations and Environment shall report to the congressional 
defense committees on the Department's plan to implement these 
technologies across the Department of Defense within 60 days of 
enactment of this Act.
    Special Operations Command resiliency and human performance 
centers.--The Committee's recommendation does not include 
funding for the Human Performance Center. The Committee is 
concerned that these facilities are redundant in nature to 
existing medical facilities, clinics and gymnasiums located at 
the installations.
    Defense Health Agency budget submission for fiscal year 
2015.-- The fiscal year 2015 budget submission included funding 
for five hospitals. Within the request the Defense Health 
Agency deliberately underfunded the Fort Bliss Hospital 
Replacement, Increment 6 and fully funded Rhine Ordnance 
Barracks Medical Center Replacement in Germany. Based on the 
Work In Progress curve (WIP curve) of the Medical Center 
Replacement in Germany the Committee has reduced the request in 
Germany by $70,000,000 and provided that funding for the Fort 
Bliss Hospital.

                   Guard and Reserve Item of Interest

    Enforcement of border security.--Recognizing the need to 
bolster resources for the enforcement of border security, the 
Committee encourages the Army National Guard and the Air 
National Guard to consider, design, and construct facilities 
adjacent to our southwestern border that will support National 
Guard activities and house and support defense assets used by 
Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement 
agencies for the terrestrial, maritime, and aerial surveillance 
of those borders, to include aircraft hangars suitable for 
unmanned aerial systems.

               Military Construction, Army National Guard





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $314,740,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       126,920,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       126,920,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................     (187,820,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................             - - -


               Military Construction, Air National Guard





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $119,800,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        94,663,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        94,663,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................      (25,137,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................             - - -


                  Military Construction, Army Reserve





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $156,560,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       103,946,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       103,946,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................      (52,614,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................             - - -


                  Military Construction, Navy Reserve





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $29,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        51,528,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        51,528,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................        22,528,000
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................             - - -


                Military Construction, Air Force Reserve





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................        45,659,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        49,492,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        49,492,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................         3,833,000
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................             - - -


     North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program


                    (INCLUDING RESCISSION OF FUNDS)




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $199,700,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       199,700,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       199,700,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................             - - -
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................             - - -


    The Committee recommendation includes a rescission under 
Administrative Provisions.
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment 
Program (NSIP) consists of annual contributions by NATO member 
countries. The program finances the costs of construction 
needed to support the roles of the major NATO commands. The 
investments cover facilities such as airfields, fuel pipelines 
and storage, harbors, communications and information systems, 
radar and navigational aids, and military headquarters, both 
within NATO nations and for ``out of area'' operations such as 
Afghanistan.
    The U.S. occasionally has been forced to temporarily delay 
the authorization of projects due to shortfalls in U.S. 
obligation authority. The Committee directs the Secretary of 
Defense to notify the Committee within 14 days of the U.S. 
taking action to temporarily delay the authorization of 
projects, or to temporarily withhold funds from previously 
authorized projects, due to shortfalls in U.S. obligation 
authority.

                        Family Housing Overview





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $1,515,713,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................     1,190,535,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................     1,190,535,000
Comparison with:
  Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................     (325,178,000)
  Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................             - - -


    Family housing construction accounts provide funds for new 
construction, construction improvements, the Federal government 
costs for family housing privatization projects, and planning 
and design. The operation and maintenance accounts provide 
funds to pay for maintenance and repair, furnishings, 
management, services, utilities, leasing, interest, mortgage 
insurance, and miscellaneous expenses.
    The decrease below the 2014 enacted level is due partly to 
the Department of Defense's success in implementing the 
Military Housing Privatization Initiative on military 
installations and the reduced requirement for appropriated 
construction and operating costs. The Committee encourages the 
Department, where feasible, to utilize energy efficient, 
environmentally friendly, and easily deployable composite 
building materials in new family housing construction.
    Family housing privatization progress reports.--The 
Committee directs the Department of Defense to continue 
submitting semi-annual progress reports on the family housing 
privatization program, including a breakout of military tenant 
satisfaction rates by project.
    Foreign currency savings and sub-account transfers.--The 
Committee directs that savings in family housing operation and 
maintenance accounts from foreign currency re-estimates be used 
to maintain and repair existing family housing units. The 
Comptroller is directed to report to the Committees on 
Appropriations of both Houses of Congress on how these savings 
are allocated 90 days after enactment of this Act. In addition, 
the Committee directs the services and Defense agencies to 
notify the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of 
Congress within 30 days of a transfer of funds between sub-
accounts within the family housing construction and family 
housing operation and maintenance accounts, if such transfer is 
in excess of 10 percent of the funds appropriated to the sub-
account to which the funds are being transferred. Notifications 
to the Committees shall indicate the sub-accounts and amounts 
that are being used to source the transfer.
    Leasing reporting requirements.--The Secretary of Defense 
is directed to report to the Committees on Appropriations of 
both Houses of Congress quarterly on the details of all new or 
renewed domestic leases entered into during the previous 
quarter that exceed the cost threshold set by 10 U.S.C. 
2828(b)(2), including certification that less expensive housing 
was not available for lease. For foreign leases, the Department 
is directed to: (1) perform an economic analysis on all new 
leases or lease/contract agreements where more than 25 units 
are involved; (2) report the details of new or renewed lease 
agreements that exceed the cost threshold set by 10 U.S.C. 
2828(e)(1) 21 days prior to entering into such an agreement; 
and (3) base leasing decisions on the economic analysis.
    Military family housing.--The Committee is concerned about 
the potential repurposing of existing installation property 
currently used for training in order to meet the pressing needs 
for expanded military housing for service personnel and their 
families. The Committee urges the Department of Defense to work 
cooperatively with state and local governments, as well as 
relevant nongovernmental entities, in communities adjacent to 
Department installations within the United States, where a need 
for additional housing has been identified by garrison command 
and such development is supported by local government 
authorities and other relevant entities. Specific focus must be 
given to meeting the federal government's obligations under the 
Uniform Relocation Act of 1970, and the Committee urges the 
Department of Defense to identify potential sources of funding 
necessary to meet these obligations. The Committee directs the 
Department to provide a report of its determinations to the 
Committee no later than 90 days from the enactment of this Act.

                   Family Housing Construction, Army





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $27,408,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        78,609,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        78,609,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................        51,201,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


             Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Army





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $512,871,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       350,976,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       350,976,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................     (161,895,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


           Family Housing Construction, Navy and Marine Corps





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $73,407,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        16,412,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        16,412,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................      (56,995,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Navy and Marine Corps





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $379,444,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       354,029,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       354,029,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................      (25,415,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


                 Family Housing Construction, Air Force





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $76,360,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................             - - -
Committee recommendation in the bill..................             - - -
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................      (76,360,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


          Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Air Force





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $388,598,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       327,747,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       327,747,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................      (60,851,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


         Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $55,845,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        61,100,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        61,100,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................         5,255,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


         Department of Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................        $1,780,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................         1,662,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................         1,662,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................         (118,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Family Housing Improvement Fund (FHIF) is authorized by 
section 2883, title 10, United States Code, and provides the 
Department of Defense with authority to finance joint ventures 
with the private sector to revitalize and to manage the 
Department's housing inventory. The statute authorizes the 
Department to use limited partnerships, make direct and 
guaranteed loans, and convey Department-owned property to 
stimulate the private sector to increase the availability of 
affordable, quality housing for military personnel.
    The FHIF is used to build or renovate family housing by 
using various legal authorities, and by utilizing private 
capital and expertise to the maximum extent possible. The fund 
is administered as a single account without fiscal year 
limitations and contains directly appropriated and transferred 
funds from family housing construction accounts.

          Chemical Demilitarization Construction, Defense-Wide





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $122,536,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        38,715,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        38,715,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................      (83,821,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Chemical Demilitarization Construction, Defense-Wide 
account provides funds for the design and construction of full-
scale chemical disposal facilities and associated projects to 
upgrade installation support facilities and infrastructures 
required to support the Chemical Demilitarization program.

             The Department of Defense Base Closure Account





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $451,357,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       270,085,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       270,085,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................     (181,272,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    Legacy BRAC sites.--As the Committee has previously noted 
in H. Rept. 112-94, the Committee remains extremely concerned 
regarding the current pace of Legacy BRAC site clean-up. The 
fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act combined 
the 2005 and 1990 BRAC accounts so the resources in the 2005 
BRAC account could be used to clean up Legacy BRAC sites. 
However, it is unclear to the Committee how these resources 
shall be used. Therefore, the Committee directs the Department 
of Defense to report back to the Committee within 90 days of 
enactment of this Act its plan to expedite and expand clean-up 
activities of BRAC legacy bases and how it will fully utilize 
the funds previously appropriated.
    BRAC criteria.--The Committee is concerned that the 
Department of Defense (DOD) does not consider the intellectual 
capabilities of a region when evaluating the criteria for BRAC. 
The Committee recommends that the DOD clearly establish an 
intellectual capabilities criteria consideration, especially 
when considering academic and technical institutions, in 
addition to the already established BRAC final selection 
criteria. The Committee believes that DOD should not solely 
focus on cost analysis and military training value when going 
through the BRAC process, but should heavily consider the 
importance and cost of intellectual capabilities of a region, 
especially with military academic and technical organizations.

                       Administrative Provisions

    The bill includes 32 provisions of which 26 were in effect 
in fiscal year 2014 and 6 new provisions. The administrative 
provisions included in the bill are as follows:
    The bill includes section 101 prohibiting the use of funds 
for payments under a cost-plus-a-fixed-fee contract for 
construction where cost estimates exceed $25,000. An exception 
for Alaska is provided.
    The bill includes section 102 permitting the use of 
construction funds for the hire of passenger motor vehicles.
    The bill includes section 103 permitting funds to be 
expended on the construction of defense access roads under 
certain circumstances.
    The bill includes section 104 prohibiting construction of 
new bases in the United States without a specific 
appropriation.
    The bill includes section 105 limiting the use of funds for 
the purchase of land or land easements that exceed 100 percent 
of value except under certain conditions.
    The bill includes section 106 prohibiting the use of funds 
to acquire land, prepare sites, or install utilities for family 
housing except housing for which funds have been appropriated.
    The bill includes section 107 limiting the use of minor 
construction funds to relocate any activity from one 
installation to another without prior notification.
    The bill includes section 108 prohibiting the procurement 
of steel unless American producers, fabricators, and 
manufacturers have been allowed to compete.
    The bill includes section 109 prohibiting the use of funds 
to pay real property taxes in foreign nations.
    The bill includes section 110 prohibiting the use of funds 
to initiate a new installation overseas without prior 
notification.
    The bill includes section 111 establishing a preference for 
United States architectural and engineering services where the 
services are in Japan, NATO member countries, or countries 
bordering the Arabian Sea.
    The bill includes section 112 establishing a preference for 
United States contractors for military construction in the 
United States territories and possessions in the Pacific and on 
Kwajalein Atoll, or countries within the Central Command area 
of responsibility, except bids by Marshallese contractors for 
military construction on Kwajalein Atoll.
    The bill includes section 113 requiring the Secretary of 
Defense to give prior notice to Congress of military exercises 
where construction costs exceed $100,000.
    The bill includes section 114 limiting the obligation of 
funds during the last two months of the fiscal year.
    The bill includes section 115 allowing funds appropriated 
in prior years to be used for new projects authorized during 
the current session of Congress.
    The bill includes section 116 allowing the use of expired 
or lapsed funds to pay the cost of supervision for any project 
being completed with lapsed funds.
    The bill includes section 117 providing that funds for 
military construction projects are available until the end of 
the fourth fiscal year following the fiscal year in which funds 
are appropriated, subject to certain conditions.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 118 allowing for the transfer of 
proceeds from ``Base Realignment and Closure Account, Part I'' 
to the continuing Base Realignment and Closure accounts.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 119 allowing for the transfer of 
funds from Family Housing Construction accounts to the 
Department of Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund and funds 
from Military Construction accounts to the Department of 
Defense Military Unaccompanied Housing Improvement Fund.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 120, as amended, providing 
transfer authority to the Homeowners Assistance Program.
    The bill includes section 121, as amended, requiring that 
funds in this title be the sole source of all operation and 
maintenance for flag and general officer quarter houses, and 
limits the repair on these quarters to $15,000 per year without 
notification.
    The bill includes section 122 making funds in the Ford 
Island Improvement Fund available until expended.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 123 allowing the transfer of 
expired funds to the ``Foreign Currency Fluctuations, 
Construction, Defense'' account.
    The bill includes section 124 prohibiting the use of funds 
to relocate a unit of the Army that would impact more than 200 
personnel.
    The bill includes section 125 allowing the transfer of 
funds among projects and activities in accordance with the 
reprogramming guidelines.
    The bill includes section 126 prohibiting the use of funds 
for projects at Arlington National Cemetery.
    The bill includes section 127 making funds available for 
previously authorized military construction projects.
    The bill includes section 128 making funds available for 
accelerated military construction projects requested by the 
Department of the Army.

                    (INCLUDING RESCISSION OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 129 rescinding funds from prior 
appropriations Acts.

                    (INCLUDING RESCISSION OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 130 rescinding funds from prior 
appropriations Acts.

                    (INCLUDING RESCISSION OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 131 rescinding funds from prior 
appropriations Acts.
    The bill includes section 132 defining the congressional 
defense committees.
    The bill does not include section 121 as requested to 
provide authority to the Secretary of the Army to use O&M to 
supplement repair and renovation at Arlington Cemetery in 
addition to funds provided in title III.
    The bill does not include section 122 as requested to 
provide authority under a continuing resolution when an 
authorization bill has been enacted to obligate funds that have 
not been appropriated.

                                TITLE II


                     DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level\1\...................    $147,934,261,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request\1\..................     158,639,938,000
Committee recommendation in the bill\1\.............     158,221,261,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level..................      10,287,000,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request.................       (418,677,000)
Fiscal year 2016 advance budget request\1\..........      58,662,202,000
Fiscal year 2016 Committee recommendation in the         58,662,202,000
 bill\1\............................................

\1\All funding cited excludes amounts in the Medical Care Collections
  Fund.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) serves 
approximately 48,500,000 people: 22,000,000 veterans and 
26,500,000 family members of living veterans or survivors of 
deceased veterans. To serve adequately the nation's veterans, 
the VA employs 319,000 people, making it one of the largest 
Federal agencies in terms of employment.

                 Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)


                       COMPENSATION AND PENSIONS

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level......................     $71,476,104,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.....................      78,687,709,000
Committee recommendation in the bill................      78,687,709,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level..................       7,211,605,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request.................               - - -


    This appropriation will provide funds for service-connected 
compensation payments to an estimated 4,569,000 veterans, 
survivors, and dependents. In addition, pension payments will 
be funded for 519,000 veterans and their survivors. The average 
cost per compensation case for veterans in 2015 is estimated at 
$15,652, and pension payments are projected at $12,444.
    The appropriation includes authority to transfer funding 
not to exceed $15,430,000, of which $15,253,000 is for the 
General Operating Expenses, Veterans Benefit Administration 
account and $177,000 is for the Information Technology Systems 
account. These funds are for the administrative expenses of 
implementing cost-saving provisions required by the Omnibus 
Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, Public Law 101-508, the 
Veterans' Benefits Act of 1992, Public Law 102-568, and the 
Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act of 1994, Public Law 103-
446. These cost-saving provisions include verifying pension 
income against Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social 
Security Administration (SSA) data; establishing a match with 
the SSA to obtain verification of Social Security numbers; and 
applying the VA pension cap for Medicaid-eligible single 
veterans and surviving spouses alone in Medicaid-covered 
nursing homes. The bill also continues to include language 
permitting this appropriation to reimburse such sums as may be 
earned to the Medical Care Collections Fund to help defray the 
operating expenses of individual medical facilities for nursing 
home care provided to pensioners.

                         READJUSTMENT BENEFITS




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level.................          $13,135,898,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request................           14,761,862,000
Committee recommendation in the bill...........           14,761,862,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level.............            1,625,964,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request............                    - - -


    This appropriation finances the education and training of 
veterans and servicemembers through the Post 9-11 GI Bill and 
the All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program. 
Supplemental education benefits are also provided to certain 
veteran members of the Selected Reserve and are funded through 
transfers from the Department of Defense (DOD). In addition, 
certain disabled veterans are provided with vocational 
rehabilitation, specially adapted housing grants, and grants 
for automobiles with approved adaptive equipment. This account 
also finances educational assistance allowances for eligible 
dependents of veterans who died from service-connected causes 
or have a total and permanent service-connected disability, as 
well as dependents of servicemembers who were captured or are 
missing in action. More than 80 percent of the funds in the 
account support the Post 9-11 GI Bill.

                   VETERANS INSURANCE AND INDEMNITIES




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $77,567,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        63,257,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        63,257,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................      (14,310,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Veterans Insurance and Indemnities appropriation is 
made up of the former appropriations for military and naval 
insurance, applicable to World War I veterans; national service 
life insurance (NSLI), applicable to certain World War II 
veterans; servicemen's indemnities, applicable to Korean 
conflict veterans; and veterans mortgage life insurance, 
applicable to individuals who have received a grant for 
specially adapted housing.
    The amount provided will enable the Department to transfer 
funding to the service-disabled veterans insurance fund and 
transfer additional amounts for payments for policies under the 
veterans mortgage life insurance program. These policies are 
identified under the Veterans Insurance and Indemnity 
appropriation since they provide insurance to service-disabled 
veterans unable to qualify under basic NSLI.

         VETERANS HOUSING BENEFIT PROGRAM FUND PROGRAM ACCOUNT

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Limitation on
                                                                                  direct loans
                                                              Program account    for  specially   Administrative
                                                                                    adapted          expenses
                                                                                 housing loans
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fiscal year 2014 enacted level.............................              - - -       ($500,000)     $158,430,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request est........................              - - -        (500,000)      160,881,000
Committee recommendation est. in the bill..................              - - -        (500,000)      160,881,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level.........................              - - -            - - -        2,451,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request........................              - - -            - - -            - - -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The purpose of the home loan guaranty program is to 
facilitate the extension of mortgage credit on favorable terms 
by private lenders to eligible veterans. This appropriation 
provides for all costs, with the exception of the Native 
American veterans housing loan program, of the Department's 
direct and guaranteed loans programs. The Federal Credit Reform 
Act of 1990 requires budgetary resources to be available prior 
to incurring a direct loan obligation or a loan guaranty 
commitment. In addition, the bill requires all administrative 
expenses of a direct or guaranteed loan program to be funded 
through a program account. Loan guaranties are made to 
servicemembers, veterans, reservists, and single surviving 
spouses for the purchase of homes, condominiums, and 
manufactured homes and for refinancing loans. The Department 
guarantees part of the total loan, permitting the purchaser to 
obtain a mortgage with a competitive interest rate, even 
without a down payment if the lender agrees. The Department 
requires that a down payment be made for a manufactured home. 
With a Department guaranty, the lender is protected against 
loss, up to the amount of the guaranty, if the borrower fails 
to repay the loan.

            VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION LOANS PROGRAM ACCOUNT

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Limitation on    Administrative
                                                              Program account     direct loans       expenses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fiscal year 2014 enacted level.............................             $5,000     ($2,500,000)         $354,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request............................             10,000      (2,877,000)          361,000
Committee recommendation in the bill.......................             10,000      (2,877,000)          361,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level.........................              5,000        (377,000)            7,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request........................              - - -            - - -            - - -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This appropriation covers the subsidy cost of direct loans 
for vocational rehabilitation of eligible veterans and includes 
administrative expenses necessary to carry out the direct loan 
program. Loans of up to $1,108 (based on indexed chapter 31 
subsistence allowance rate) are available to service-connected 
disabled veterans enrolled in vocational rehabilitation 
programs when the veteran is temporarily in need of additional 
assistance. Repayment is made in monthly installments, without 
interest, through deductions from future payments of 
compensation, pension, subsistence allowance, educational 
assistance allowance, or retirement pay. Most loans are repaid 
in full in less than one year. The Federal Credit Reform Act of 
1990 requires budgetary resources to be available prior to 
incurring a direct loan obligation.
    It is estimated that the Department will make 3,099 loans 
in fiscal year 2015, with an average amount of $929.

              NATIVE AMERICAN VETERAN HOUSING LOAN PROGRAM




Administrative expenses:
Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................        $1,109,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................         1,130,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................         1,130,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................            21,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program, as 
authorized by title 38 United States Code, chapter 37, 
subchapter V, provides the Secretary with authority to make 
direct housing loans to Native American veterans for the 
purpose of purchasing, constructing, or improving dwellings on 
trust lands.

                     Veterans Health Administration

    The Department operates the largest Federal medical care 
delivery system in the country, with 152 hospitals, 107 
domiciliary residential rehabilitation treatment programs, 133 
nursing homes, 300 Vet Centers, 70 mobile Vet Centers, and 821 
outpatient clinics which include independent, satellite, 
community-based, and rural outreach clinics. Approximately 
6,742,000 patients will be treated in 2015.
    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is comprised of 
four accounts: Medical Services, Medical Support and 
Compliance, Medical Facilities, and Medical and Prosthetic 
Research. For the first three accounts, the Administration has 
requested total resources for fiscal year 2016 of 
$58,662,202,000 in direct appropriations to fund the three 
advance appropriations of the VHA. In addition, VA will receive 
an estimated $3,065,000,000 in Medical Care Collections Fund in 
fiscal year 2015. The Committee also provides $588,922,000 for 
medical and prosthetic research.

                            MEDICAL SERVICES




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................   $43,597,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 enacted level........................    45,015,527,000
Fiscal year 2015 additional request...................       367,885,000
Committee 2015 additional recommendation..............             - - -
Fiscal year 2016 advance budget request...............    47,603,202,000
Committee 2016 recommendation in the bill.............    47,603,202,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2015 enacted level....................     2,587,675,000
    Fiscal year 2016 budget request...................             - - -


    This appropriation provides for medical services of 
eligible veterans and beneficiaries in Department medical 
centers, outpatient clinic facilities, contract hospitals, 
State homes, and outpatient programs on a fee basis. Hospital 
and outpatient care is also provided by the private sector for 
certain dependents and survivors of veterans under the civilian 
health and medical programs for the VA.
    The bill does not include the current year budget request 
of $367,885,000, which would be in addition to the advance 
appropriation that has already been provided. With $450,000,000 
in unobligated balances expected to be available and a drop of 
$690,000,000 in projected medical services expenditures, the 
Committee believes that the identified need can be absorbed 
within existing resources.
    The Committee has not included requested bill language to 
make available through September 30, 2017, $1,400,000,000 of 
the Medical Services appropriation for fiscal year 2016, 
instead maintaining current policy of providing extended 
availability on a current year rather than advance funding 
basis.
    Changes in funding requirements due to modeling.--The 
Committee expects VA to continue to include in the sufficiency 
letter required by section 117(d) of title 38, United States 
Code, that is due to the Congress on July 31 of each year, a 
description of any changes exceeding $250,000,000 in funding 
requirements for the Medical Services account resulting from 
the spring recalculation of the Enrollee Healthcare Projection 
Model.
    Presentation of medical care obligations.--The Committee is 
pleased that the VA has adjusted its budget presentation of 
initiatives to include them within the lines of Health Care 
Services. This display more accurately shows a new activity in 
the first year and then reflects it in the base program lines 
in subsequent years. The presentation of the advance 
appropriation column in the fiscal year 2015 budget is more 
realistic than in previous years when the advance year often 
showed zero funding for what were actually ongoing activities.
    To ensure that it is informed of changes in planned 
expenditure of medical care `initiatives' during the budget 
year, the Committee repeats the administrative provision 
requiring the VA to submit a reprogramming request if, at any 
point during the fiscal year, the funding allocated for a 
medical care `initiative' in the fiscal year 2015 expenditure 
plan is adjusted by more than $25,000,000 from the allocation 
shown in the corresponding congressional budget justification. 
The Committee directs the VA to provide an expenditure plan 
within 20 days of receiving a full-year appropriation.
    Allocation of health funding.--The Committee is concerned 
that the process the VA uses to allocate the health services 
appropriation through the Veterans Integrated Services Networks 
(VISNs) and from them to the medical centers may shortchange 
the ultimate users because of excessive funding retained at 
headquarters or at the VISNs. The Committee continues to 
request a report each year no later than thirty days after VA 
allocates the medical services appropriation to the VISNs that 
identifies: (1) the amount of general purpose funding that is 
allocated to each VISN; (2) the amount of funding that is 
retained by central headquarters for specific purposes, with 
amounts identified for each purpose; and (3) the amount of 
funding that is retained by each VISN before allocating it to 
the medical centers, identifying separately the amounts 
retained for purposes such as network operations, network 
initiatives, and emergencies.

Homeless assistance

    The Committee provides the full fiscal year 2016 budget 
request of $1,265,000,000 for VA homeless assistance programs, 
in addition to $6,397,595,000 for homeless veterans treatment 
costs. These programs include the Homeless Providers Grant and 
Per Diem, the Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans, the 
Supportive Services for Low Income Veterans and Families, and 
the Department of Housing and Urban Development--Department of 
Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) programs.
    Homeless female veterans.--The Committee remains committed 
to helping homeless veterans and commends the VA for its 
efforts in reducing homelessness among the veteran population. 
However, the Committee is concerned about the VA's efforts to 
reduce homelessness among female veterans. The Committee 
requests an analysis of the challenges facing homeless female 
veterans and the means within the VA to address those 
challenges. The report should address how the VA will work to 
provide equal treatment and assistance for female veterans. The 
Committee requests that this report be provided within 90 days 
of enactment of this Act.
    Expanding the definition of homeless veteran.--The 
Committee supports the authorizing committees' efforts to 
broaden the definition for homeless veterans to include any 
individual or family who is fleeing, or is attempting to flee, 
domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, 
or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions in the 
individual's or family's current housing situation, including 
where the health and safety of children are jeopardized, and 
who have no other residence and lack the resources or support 
networks to obtain other permanent housing.
    Innovative approaches to assistance.--The Committee is 
encouraged by innovative proposals for helping homeless 
veterans and reducing veteran homelessness. The Committee 
encourages the VA to explore the benefits of such proposals and 
remove any disincentives to offering innovative services for 
homeless veterans. The Committee requests that the VA provide a 
report no later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act 
that provides a detailed analysis of innovative proposals the 
VA can offer to reduce veteran homelessness.

Mental health issues

    The Committee provides the full fiscal year 2016 budget 
request of $7,448,900,000 for mental health programs. Of the 
amounts provided for mental health programs in fiscal year 
2015, an additional $20,000,000 shall be used for suicide 
prevention outreach. The Department is directed to provide a 
report to the Committee no later than 30 days after enactment 
of this Act identifying a detailed expenditure plan for all 
suicide outreach programs.
    Military sexual trauma (MST).--Recent studies have shown 
that servicewomen who experience sexual assault while serving 
in the military are far more likely to develop post-traumatic 
stress disorder (PTSD), compared to other female veterans. The 
Committee strongly encourages the VA to maximize the 
availability of mental health services available to veterans 
who were victims of MST.
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Study.-- The Committee 
understands that new technologies using magnetic resonance 
therapy have successfully treated Veterans with PTSD. Recent 
clinical trials and pilot studies have produced promising 
results in the evolution of treatment for PTSD. The Committee 
encourages the VA to report to the Committee about whether it 
uses Magnetic Resonance Therapy to treat PTSD, and if not, 
whether it would be appropriate to conduct a study on use of 
the technology.
    Neurological conditions.--The Committee is very interested 
in the progress the VA is making regarding neurological 
conditions, particularly PSTD and traumatic brain injury (TBI)-
related injuries. The Committee requests a report within 90 
days of the enactment of this bill detailing efforts and 
programs addressing these issues. This report should include 
detailed expenditures and current year spending levels versus 
prior year spending.
    Mental health provider training.--The Committee is 
concerned about the impact of VA's accreditation process, which 
excludes from employment at the VA qualified marriage and 
family therapists (MFTs) from educational institutions that are 
regionally accredited. This unnecessarily causes vacant mental 
health provider positions within the VHA system at a time when 
these services are in critical need. The Committee understands 
that VA uses national accrediting bodies because the regional 
accrediting bodies do not cover the occupation at a national 
level standard of care. But the Committee encourages VA to 
explore the possibility of using a grouping of multiple 
regional accrediting bodies under the auspices of a national 
accrediting body. The Committee directs the VHA to submit a 
report no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act 
specifying how it plans to fill all the vacant mental health 
positions by the end of fiscal year 2015.
    Clinical psychologist supply.--The Committee is aware that 
the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) 
in September 2012 received recognition and accreditation 
authority from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation 
(CHEA) to provide accreditation of doctoral programs in 
psychological clinical science, and that the Veterans Health 
Administration has been modifying its regulations over the past 
year to recognize PCSAS graduates in its training and 
employment settings. The Committee is disappointed that the 
process has now taken more than one year and urges the VHA to 
recognize graduates of PCSAS-accredited psychological doctoral 
programs without any additional delay.
    Community-based mental health care.--The Committee urges 
the VA to begin the implementation of the community-based 
mental health initiative established in the fiscal year 2014 
conference report. The VA should select the major metropolitan 
areas with substantial veterans populations and health 
infrastructure, coordinate with local VA facilities, and 
recruit behavioral health partners. Community-based awardees 
should be evaluated on the basis of the metrics identified in 
the fiscal year 2014 conference report. The Committee requests 
a report on these efforts no later than 60 days after enactment 
of this Act.
    Access to alternative treatment options.--The Committee 
encourages the VA to include non-invasive treatments in its 
scope of approved treatment options for veterans receiving 
mental health care. Non-invasive treatments should be 
considered an acceptable component of any treatment regimen, 
particularly in light of an increase in co-occurring substance 
abuse issues.
    Physician recruitment.--The Committee remains concerned by 
the high rates of PTSD in returning veterans from Iraq and 
Afghanistan. The Committee believes there is a continuing need 
to recruit highly trained physicians to address this problem. 
The Committee encourages the Secretary to establish an action 
plan to address this shortage, including the possibility of 
strengthening the current loan repayment program to recruit 
psychiatric physicians for full-time employment in the VHA.

Rural health issues

    The Committee provides the full fiscal year 2016 budget 
request of $250,000,000 to improve access and quality of care 
for the more than 3,100,000 veterans residing in rural and 
highly rural areas. The Committee directs the Office of Rural 
Health to submit to the Committee within 30 days of enactment 
of this Act an operating plan for this funding, as well as any 
changes to that operating plan at the start of the fiscal year 
for which the funds are provided.
    Patient-Centered Community Care Program.--The Committee has 
supported the Department's efforts to provide more efficient 
medical services to veterans in rural areas through the 
patient-centered community care program (PC3). The Committee 
continues to urge the Department to ensure that PC3 contractors 
consider public hospitals in their implementation plans, 
especially when a public hospital is adjacent or proximate to a 
VA clinic, outpatient facility or long-term care facility.
    The Committee believes that the PC3 initiative could 
provide an effective method for improving convenience of care 
and decreasing costs when patients require services not readily 
available at local VA medical centers. The Committee requests 
that, not later than 30 days after enactment of this act, the 
VA report on the progress of the PC3 program, describing the 
progress of program implementation, the types of care provided, 
the level of communication and coordination between the VA and 
providers, the cost effectiveness of the program, the reduction 
of wait times, the timeliness of payments to contractors, and 
the satisfaction level of patients who have participated in the 
program. Because this is a new program, baseline data and 
reporting is necessary to ensure that the Committee can conduct 
oversight on the program's performance and respond to areas in 
need of improvement.
    The Committee also requests the VA Office of Inspector 
General to do a cost assessment study of PC3. VA has described 
PC3 as an efficiency-improving contract and estimates 
$13,000,000 in PC3 savings in fiscal year 2014. Consequently, 
it is important to do a review of the actual costs associated 
with the contract and potential savings.
    The Committee understands that VA is not planning to 
conduct a controlled study to compare prices, health outcomes 
or other quality measures of PC3 to traditional fee-based care. 
The Committee instructs VA to contract with an external 
evaluator to do a cost and quality comparison study of PC3. The 
comparative study should be provided to the Committee by March 
1, 2015.
    The Committee understands that VA will be conducting semi-
annual briefings to monitor the uptake and use of the PC3 
contract, the results from specific VISNs, and associated cost 
savings. The Committee would like to be kept informed of the 
data from the briefings to learn how the contract progresses in 
the coming years.
    Care through multi-specialty clinics.--The Committee 
remains concerned about VA's ability to provide high quality, 
reliable, accessible, timely and efficient health care to 
veterans in rural states. The Committee strongly encourages the 
VA to pursue multi-specialty clinics (MSC), giving special 
consideration to future MSCs that have the potential to partner 
with private medical institutions and or medical teaching 
facilities. These partnerships could provide significant 
benefits to current and future veteran patients by 
significantly increasing the services delivered to veterans. 
Furthermore, these affiliations could significantly enhance VA 
research and education missions.
    Rural transportation.--The Committee recognizes the 
importance of providing adequate access to needed services, 
including for veterans living in rural communities. The 
Committee encourages the VA to propose authorizing legislation 
to permit including considerations of a veteran's distance from 
a VA facility as a criterion in addition to the number of 
veterans in a given area in implementing recent statutory 
changes providing transportation grants to veterans service 
agencies and veterans service organizations.

Other health issues

    Dialysis.--The Committee requests the VA to obtain an 
independent and full evaluation of the four-site dialysis pilot 
program by September 30, 2015. In the interim, in an effort to 
improve efficiencies and save taxpayer funds, the VA should not 
create duplicate contract-provided dialysis capacity. An 
independent evaluation of the four-pilot program will give the 
Committee the opportunity to consider the findings and 
determine if such findings justify expanding VA-operated 
dialysis clinics.
    Hepatitis C virus.--The Committee has previously encouraged 
the VA to increase hepatitis C (HCV) testing and work to 
implement the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) 
HCV testing recommendations within the VA system. In light of 
the growing burden of hepatitis C-related liver complications 
and mortality among Veterans and the recent introduction of 
more effective treatments for HCV, the Committee directs the VA 
to establish a plan for testing and treating veterans enrolled 
in the VHA system and considered to be at risk for hepatitis C, 
including Vietnam-era veterans in the baby boomer birth cohort. 
Additionally, the VA shall submit a report to the Committee, no 
later than six months after enactment of this Act, updating its 
2010 report, The State of Care for Veterans with Chronic 
Hepatitis C, on the prevalence of hepatitis C among veterans 
and detailing the estimated impact its HCV treatment plan will 
have on preventing hepatitis C-related cirrhosis, 
hepatocellular carcinoma, and mortality among veterans.
    HIV/AIDS among veterans.--The VA has the opportunity and 
responsibility to ensure that veterans are tested for HIV and 
receive appropriate care. The number of veterans ever tested 
remains below the national average and reported infection rates 
exceed the CDC threshold of 0.1 percent for routine HIV 
screening. The Committee encourages the VA to further increase 
testing rates and to provide reports of progress on the number 
of veterans tested and activities through the annual HIV 
Testing Rates reports.
    Prostheses.--The Committee is disappointed in reports of VA 
providers ``sanding down'' prosthetics that were made for men 
in order to fit female patients, and requests that the VA 
ensure that there is prosthetic equipment proportionate to the 
amount of female veterans in need.
    Prescription drug abuse.--The Committee is pleased with the 
Opioid Safety Initiative and the results it is producing in 
reducing the dependence of veterans on prescription opioids. 
The Committee requests a report 60 days after enactment of this 
Act providing updated findings on patient outcomes in the 
initiative, any VA plans to expand it to other VISNs, and 
efforts to circulate treatment protocols from the Initiative to 
all VISNs.
    Service dogs.--The VA supports service dogs that assist 
veterans with vision, hearing, and mobility impairments. The 
Committee encourages VA to partner with nonprofits that match 
veterans with service dogs. The VA should explore new 
opportunities for service to these veterans, possibly through a 
pilot project, that allows veterans to train shelter dogs, and 
to continue its research on the mental health benefits of 
service dogs.
    Ophthalmology services.--The Committee urges the VA to help 
ensure veterans have access to high quality care by moving 
quickly with its plans to expand its national ophthalmology 
services.
    Medical school affiliations with VA health care 
facilities.--The Committee continues to prioritize 
collaboration between VA health care facilities and 
historically black health professions schools. The Committee 
acknowledges the improved collaboration, particularly with 
smaller community-based sites. However, the Committee continues 
to be concerned by the lack of historically black colleges and 
universities (HBCU) medical school participation and 
collaboration with local VA hospitals located in large urban 
areas with HBCU medical schools. The Committee directs the 
Secretary of VA to provide a report on the VA's plan for 
expansion of HBCU medical school participation with local VA 
medical facilities. The report should be submitted to the 
Committee no later than 90 days after enactment of this act.
    Transportation services.--The Committee commends VA for its 
collaborative efforts with the Department of Transportation and 
other Federal agencies to improve transportation resources for 
veterans. In particular, the Veterans Transportation and 
Community Living Initiative, the Veterans Transportation 
Service, VA Beneficiary Travel, and the Highly Rural 
Transportation Grant programs make use of existing local public 
transportation system options, where appropriate.
    Pharmacy dispensing process for specialized medicines.--The 
Committee urges the VA to consider a pilot program to study the 
use of specialized automated pharmacy workflow systems that 
manage the entire intravenous and oral liquid dose preparation 
and dispensing process within the VHA in order to promote 
intravenous and oral liquid dose preparation safety, reduce 
waste, and improve health system pharmacy productivity. The 
Committee believes that such a pilot program focused on the 
specialized field of intravenous and oral dose preparation 
would improve staffing productivity and patient safety.
    Nursing handbook.--The Committee understands that the VHA 
Nursing Handbook is currently under review. The Committee 
encourages the VHA to seek input from internal VA program 
offices and external professional stakeholders, prior to 
possible regulatory action and submission to the Under 
Secretary for Health for final approval. The Committee believes 
all possible outreach efforts should be used to communicate the 
proposed changes, to gather public comment, and to collaborate 
with Congress, stakeholders, VA nursing staff, and external 
organizations. Finally, the Committee requests that the VHA 
ensure that any changes to handbooks within the VHA do not 
conflict with other handbooks already in place within the VHA.
    Prescription drug abuse.--Given the emergence of new 
technologies and services to address the abuses of prescription 
drugs, the Committee encourages the VA to utilize such 
technologies in the employment of a systematic approach that 
ensures the dispensation of medications to veterans is safe and 
transparent.
    Hepatitis B virus.--The Committee encourages the VA to 
increase hepatitis B (HBV) testing and work to implement the 
CDC HBV testing recommendations within the VA system. Chronic 
HBV infection is preventable but not curable; if left 
untreated, the virus may lead to advanced liver disease, liver 
cancer, and liver transplants, placing a greater financial 
burden on our health care system. Preliminary ad-hoc studies of 
prevalence have shown very high rates of HBV, but more research 
is necessary, as well as electronic medical record prompts for 
HBV screening. The Committee encourages the VA to establish a 
plan for testing and treating veterans enrolled in the VHA 
system and considered to be at risk for hepatitis B, including 
Vietnam-era veterans in the baby boomer birth cohort, as part 
of the effort to aggressively implement the CDC's viral 
hepatitis testing recommendations within the VHA system. 
Additionally, the VA shall submit a report to the Committee, no 
later than 180 days after enactment of this Act, on the 
prevalence of hepatitis B among veterans and the estimated 
impact of its HBV testing and treatment plan.

                     Medical Support and Compliance





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $6,033,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 enacted level........................     5,879,700,000
Fiscal year 2016 advance budget request...............     6,144,000,000
Committee 2016 recommendation in the bill.............     6,144,000,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2015 enacted level....................       264,300,000
    Fiscal year 2016 advance budget request...........             - - -


    The Medical Support and Compliance appropriation funds the 
expenses of management and administration of the Department's 
health care system, including financial management, public 
health and environmental hazard, quality and performance 
management, medical inspection, human research oversight, 
training programs and continuing education, security, volunteer 
operations, and human resources.
    The Committee has not included requested bill language to 
make available through September 30, 2017, $100,000,000 of the 
Medical Support and Compliance appropriation for fiscal year 
2016, instead maintaining current policy of providing extended 
availability on a current year rather than advance funding 
basis.

                           Medical Facilities





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $4,957,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 enacted level........................     4,739,000,000
Fiscal year 2016 advance budget request...............     4,915,000,000
Committee 2016 recommendation in the bill.............     4,915,000,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2015 enacted level....................       176,000,000
    Fiscal year 2016 advance budget request...........             - - -


    The Medical Facilities appropriation provides funds for the 
operation and maintenance of the Department's health care 
system's capital infrastructure. Included under this heading 
are provisions for costs associated with utilities, 
engineering, capital planning, leases, laundry, groundskeeping, 
garbage, housekeeping, facility repair, and property 
disposition and acquisition.
    The Committee has not included requested bill language to 
make available through September 30, 2017, $250,000,000 of the 
advance Medical Facilities appropriation for fiscal year 2016, 
instead maintaining current policy of providing extended 
availability on a current year rather than advance funding 
basis.
    In-patient facilities for female veterans.--The Committee 
looks forward to receiving the report directed in the fiscal 
year 2014 bill on the availability of in-patient facilities for 
female veterans, an inventory of available resources, and 
recommendations on areas for improvement.
    Non-recurring maintenance costs.--The Committee is aware 
that the VA has numerous non-recurring maintenance projects 
that cost millions of dollars to complete, yet the 
Administration continues to request a mere fraction of the 
funding necessary to complete these maintenance needs. The 
Committee believes that while the Strategic Capital Investment 
Planning (SCIP) process has improved the VA construction 
process, it still lacks transparency about future plans for 
non-recurring maintenance at VA facilities. The Committee 
believes that non-recurring maintenance projects for the most 
part are small dollar items that can be completed quickly to 
improve the quality of life and care given to Veterans. 
Therefore, the Committee directs the VA to provide a report to 
the Committee no later than 60 days after enactment of this Act 
explaining how non-recurring maintenance projects are rated, a 
timeline for completion of these projects, and their cost.
    Response to VA Inspector General report.--The Committee was 
disturbed by the March 31, 2014 Inspector General report 
describing the problems and lapses in management in the VA 
leasing process for the Butler, PA health care center. While 
the Committee understands that changes have been made to 
operations in the VA Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and 
Construction in response to the IG report, the Committee 
directs the VA to provide a report by July 1, 2014 documenting 
the structural, staffing, and process changes that have been 
implemented or are in the process of being implemented to 
prevent the problems with the Butler lease from happening 
anywhere else in the VA system.

                    Medical and Prosthetic Research





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $585,664,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       588,922,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       588,922,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................         3,258,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    This appropriation provides for medical, rehabilitative, 
and health services research. The bill makes this account 
funding available through September 30, 2016. Medical research 
is an important aspect of the Department's programs, providing 
complete medical and hospital services for veterans. The 
prosthetic research program is also essential in the 
development and testing of prosthetic, orthopedic, and sensory 
aids for the purpose of improving the care and rehabilitation 
of eligible disabled veterans, including amputees, paraplegics, 
and the blind. The health services research program provides 
unique opportunities to improve the effectiveness and 
efficiency of the health care delivery system. Budgetary 
resources from a number of areas, including appropriations from 
the medical care accounts, reimbursements from DOD, grants from 
the National Institutes of Health, private proprietary sources, 
and voluntary organizations, provide support for the 
Department's researchers. Estimated total research resources 
from all sources in 2015 are $1,863,000,000. The VA will 
support about 2,200 research projects during fiscal year 2015.
    Prosthetics.--The Committee strongly supports the fiscal 
year 2015 budget request for Medical and Prosthetic Research. 
Recognizing that approximately six percent of wounded veterans 
returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are amputees, and the 
number of veterans accessing VA health care for prosthetics and 
sensory aids continues to increase, this funding greatly 
enhances the quality of life of veteran amputees. Since three 
percent of military amputees are female, the Committee feels 
that a proportionate amount of prosthetics research should be 
focused on prosthetics intended for females. The need for this 
type of research is acute, as most prostheses are designed to 
fit male veterans.
    Advanced prosthetics.--The Committee encourages the VA to 
fund research at the intersection of bioengineering, 
neuroscience, and rehabilitation to support neural interfaces 
to peripheral nerves and advanced prosthetics that deliver more 
functionality to amputees.
    Intelligent prostheses.--The Committee requests a report 
within 90 days of enactment of this act on current efforts in 
the use of intelligent prosthetics, highlighting delivery of 
more functionality to amputees. The Committee encourages the VA 
to create a working group on intelligent prosthetics that 
includes representatives from the VA, DOD, the National Science 
Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration.
    Collaboration with research universities.--The Committee 
encourages the VA to strengthen its collaborations with 
research universities and teaching hospitals for the treatment 
and research of mental health disorders, such as PTSD and 
traumatic brain injury, to improve the psychological health of 
veterans and train mental health professionals so they will 
understand the unique needs of Veterans. The Committee repeats 
its request for a report on current VA-university partnerships 
on mental health research and training no later than 90 days 
after enactment of this Act.
    Colorectal cancer.--Colorectal cancer is treatable if 
detected early, yet it is the second leading cause of cancer 
death in America. The VA has made screening patients for 
colorectal cancer a priority. The National Cancer Institute 
estimates the annual cost of colorectal cancer will be almost 
$20,000,000,000 by 2020. Medicare and the VA will be 
responsible for much of that cost. The Committee encourages the 
VA to support additional research and development in the field, 
including investigation of a less costly blood test for 
colorectal cancer.
    Point of injury care.--The Committee is very concerned 
about care from the point of injury and transport to the 
hospital. The Committee encourages consultation with 
neurological hospitals for best practices at the site of the 
injury and requests a report by 90 days after enactment of this 
Act on what new or improved diagnostic tools are needed at the 
site of the injury.
    Traumatic brain injury treatment.--The Committee encourages 
the VA to evaluate the effectiveness of promising prophylactic 
treatments for TBI involving the development of drugs 
administered via intranasal application. Upon review, if the 
scientific evidence warrants, the VA should identify 
opportunities to support the clinical trials and toxicity 
studies that would be required to move these treatments into 
practice.
    Access to research findings.--The Committee is pleased that 
VA is developing a public access policy to make publicly 
available the research findings that are financed through VA. 
The Committee understands that VA is working with the White 
House Office of Science and Technology Policy to ensure that 
its policy is consistent with the government-wide effort on 
public access and is planning to use the resources of the 
National Institutes of Health PubMed Central to implement its 
program. The Committee requests a report 90 days after 
enactment of this Act describing the status of the VA public 
access program, the timeline for its implementation, and 
estimates of the number of articles that will be posted by 
fiscal year.

                     Medical Care Collections Fund

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Care Collections 
Fund (MCCF) was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 
(Public Law 105-33). The Department deposits first-party and 
pharmacy co-payments, third-party insurance payments and 
enhanced-use collections, long-term care co-payments, 
Compensated Work Therapy Program collections, Compensation and 
Pension Living Expenses Program collections, and Parking 
Program fees into the MCCF. The Department uses these funds for 
medical care and services to veterans. The estimate of fees 
that will be collected in fiscal year 2015 is $3,065,000,000.
    Third party health billing collection.--The Committee 
directs the VA to submit an annual report identifying the 
amount of third party health billings that are owed to VA and 
the annual amount collected. The report should describe VA's 
plan to capture the third party billings that currently go 
uncollected.

                    National Cemetery Administration





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $250,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       256,800,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       256,800,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................         6,800,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) was established 
in accordance with Public Law 93-43, the National Cemeteries 
Act of 1973. It has a fourfold mission: to provide for the 
interment of, in any national cemetery with available grave 
space, the remains of eligible deceased servicemembers and 
discharged veterans, together with their spouses and certain 
dependents, and to permanently maintain their graves; to 
provide headstones for, and to mark graves of eligible persons 
in national, State and tribal, and private cemeteries; to 
administer the grant program for aid to States and tribal 
governments in establishing, expanding, or improving State and 
tribal government veterans' cemeteries; and to administer the 
Presidential Memorial Certificate Program. This appropriation 
will provide for the operation and maintenance of 133 
operational national cemeteries and 33 other cemeterial 
installations.
    The bill includes language making $25,600,000 of the total 
available until September 30, 2016.
    Rural areas.--In the explanatory statement that accompanied 
the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 
2013 (P.L. 113-6), the Committees expressed concern that the 
NCA is not adequately serving the nation's veterans in rural 
areas. The Act included legislative language in House Report 
112-491 requiring the Secretary to provide a report outlining a 
strategy to address the shortcomings identified with proposed 
policies and an implementation timeframe, no later than six 
months after enactment of Public Law 113-6. The Committee 
reiterated its support of this request in House Report 113-90, 
and looks forward to timely receipt.

                      Departmental Administration


                         GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level*.......................      $327,591,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       321,591,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       321,591,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level*...................       (6,000,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................            - - -

*Funding included in this account for fiscal year 2014 for the Board of
  Veterans Appeals is now shown in that account for comparability
  purposes.

    The General Administration account provides funds for the 
Office of the Secretary, six Assistant Secretaries, and three 
independent staff offices. The Committee has included bill 
language to make available through September 30, 2016, up to 
$16,080,000 of these funds and to permit the transfer of funds 
in this account to the General Operating Expenses, Veterans 
Benefits Administration account.
    VA contracting issues.--The Committee continues to be 
concerned about the contracting practices of the Department of 
Veteran Affairs. The Committee directs the Department to 
provide a report due not later than 60 days after enactment of 
this Act that describes the number of active prime contractors 
that do not (1) have a satisfactory performance record; (2) 
have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics; or 
(3) have pending civil lawsuits brought by subcontractors and 
material suppliers for failure to make timely payments.
    VA budget office communication.--The Committee has 
traditionally channeled most of its inquiries and requests for 
information and assistance through the VA budget office. The 
Committee reiterates its longstanding position that, while the 
Committee reserves the right to call upon all VA offices, the 
primary communication between the Committee and the VA should 
normally be through the budget office. Responses to Committee 
inquiries, regardless of whether they concern funding or 
policy, are to be transmitted without delay by other offices 
within the VA, unless otherwise requested by the Committee. In 
addition, to facilitate the work of the Committee, it expects 
that the Department will make available to all personal and 
committee staff of Members of the Committee the same direct 
contact with the budget office. The Committee also expects that 
a staff member of the VA budget office will be present at every 
meeting held between the Chairman and ranking member of the 
Full Committee and Subcommittee and the Secretary or other 
senior VA officials.
    Quarterly full-time equivalents (FTE) reports.--The 
Committee continues to request that the VA provide, on a 
quarterly basis, the total current FTE by appropriation account 
and, in the case of General Operating Expenses, Veterans 
Benefits Administration, by program. The Committee feels it 
needs to have current staffing information throughout the year 
in order to monitor the use of salaries and expenses resources.
    Additional budgetary information.--The Committee continues 
its request that items described in the fiscal year 2014 House 
report 113-90 continue to be included in the budget 
justifications submitted each year. In addition, the Committee 
requests that the following items be addressed in the budget 
justifications:
          
 Do not include the cost of proposed 
        legislation in charts identifying current law 
        obligations.
          
 Display a current year estimate column for 
        all accounts, not just medical care accounts. For the 
        medical care accounts, the re-estimate column should be 
        displayed for both the budget year and advance year.
          
 Provide a reimbursable FTE summary chart for 
        the General Administration account for past year, 
        current year, and budget year.
          
 Provide an FTE by grade and regional/central 
        office totals chart for the Information Technology 
        account.
          
 Include in the Board of Veterans Appeals 
        justification information by fiscal year on the number 
        of appeals received, the number of cases decided, the 
        number of cases remanded, the beginning-of-year and 
        end-of-year appeals inventory, and the average number 
        of days required to resolve appeals. Also include 
        projected receipt and decisions on cases for the five 
        years following the budget year.
    Performance measures.--While the Committee is pleased that 
VA included performance measures in the fiscal year 2015 budget 
justifications, the Committee is concerned that these 
performance measures were not result-oriented and did not 
clearly demonstrate the extent to which performance reporting 
under 31 USC 1116 demonstrates that prior year investments in 
programs, projects, and activities are tied to progress toward 
achieving performance and priority goals and include estimates 
for how proposed investments will contribute to additional 
progress. The Committee believes that in order for these 
measures to be beneficial for legislative oversight they must 
directly link the agency's performance plan under 31 USC 
1115(b) and performance goals designated as agency priority 
goals under 31 USC 1120 (b) to such agency funding requests. 
The Committee instructs the agency, in consultation with GAO, 
to develop result-oriented performance measures on the 
improvement of the quality and accessibility of health care, 
benefits, and memorial services; performance measures on the 
accuracy and reduction of the amount of time it takes to 
process veterans disability benefit claims; veterans education 
performance measures; vocational rehabilitation and employment 
performance measures; housing performance measures; insurance 
coverage performance measures; burial program performance 
measures; and performance measures for the Board of Veterans 
Appeals. The information should be categorized by the most 
recent fiscal year and previous fiscal year for comparison and 
should include performance measures on outcome (results/
impact); output (volume); efficiency; and customer service. 
This information should be reported to the Committee within 90 
days of enactment of this act.
    Staff relocations within VA.--The bill continues the 
administrative provision requiring written notification 15 days 
prior to organizational changes which result in the transfer of 
25 or more full-time equivalent staff from one organizational 
unit of the Department to another.
    Senior VA staff performance.--Congress has been concerned 
by past instances of VA Senior Executive Service (SES) 
employees receiving performance bonuses when patient care 
standards have not been met in VA hospitals or when the 
disability claims backlogs have grown. However, recent actions 
taken by the VA have assuaged Member concerns. VA has 
centralized Senior Executive award decisions, strengthened the 
link between organizational performance and awards, added an 
additional level of review in consideration of awards, and 
significantly reduced the value of awards compared to prior 
years. Most importantly, the Secretary has demonstrated his 
willingness to use the bonus system as a way to reward and 
penalize staff based on performance. As one example, he made 
the decision to withhold performance awards for the entire 
Veterans Benefits Administration Senior Executive cadre based 
on failure to meet targets on reducing disability claims 
backlogs. The Secretary has all the authority he needs to use 
bonuses to influence performance.

                       Board of Veterans Appeals





Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $88,294,000\*\
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        94,294,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        94,294,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level\*\.................         6,000,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................            - - -

\*\Funding for the Board of Veterans Appeals was provided within the
  General Administration account for fiscal year 2014 but is shown here
  for comparability purposes.

    The bill makes $9,429,000 of this funding available through 
September 30, 2016.
    The bill separates this account from the larger General 
Administration account, as requested in the budget. The 
Committee believes the separate account will provide more 
transparency and accountability as the Board of Veterans 
Appeals (BVA) faces a greatly increased workload in coming 
years as the disability claims backlog diminishes and veterans 
appeal their awards.
    BVA is the component of VA responsible for making final 
decisions on behalf of the Secretary for the thousands of 
claims for veterans benefits that are presented to BVA for 
appellate review. The majority of the BVA's workload derives 
from the benefit claims initiated at the VBA regional offices. 
The appellate process has multiple steps, most of which occur 
at the local regional office level. If a veteran is not 
satisfied with a regional office determination, he or she may 
appeal to BVA for a final agency decision. BVA adjudicates 
appeals covering all areas of veterans benefits, but most of 
the workload concerns appeals for veterans' disability 
compensation or pension benefits. Appeals received by BVA are 
projected to increase from 47,763 in 2011 to 72,786 cases in 
2015.
    Actions to reduce the claims appeal backlog.--The VA has 
set a goal to process all disability claims within 125 days, 
with 98 percent accuracy by the end of 2015. While it is 
critical that this goal be achieved, it is also essential that 
the growing backlog in veteran appeals claims be addressed by 
the VA. The Committee fears the VBA has neglected the appeals 
of veteran claims in its effort to reduce the disability claims 
backlog and has lost sight of the appeals process. The VBA 
should consider hiring more staff to specifically work on 
lowering the growing backlog of appeals. The BVA is encouraged 
to do everything possible to lower the appeals processing time. 
The BVA should provide an annual report on its actions to lower 
the backlog in appeals claims.
    The Committee requests a report identifying the BVA's 
definition of backlog and whether that definition accounts for 
all the time a claim resides in VBA or just when it reaches the 
Board.

      GENERAL OPERATING EXPENSES, VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $2,465,490,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................     2,494,254,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................     2,514,254,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................        48,764,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................        20,000,000


    The General Operating Expenses, Veterans Benefits 
Administration account provides funding for the VBA to 
administer entitlement programs such as service-connected 
disability compensation, education benefits, and vocational 
rehabilitation services.
    The bill makes available through September 30, 2016, up to 
$125,000,000 of these funds.
    The Committee has added $20,000,000 to the budget request 
to be used for three purposes: the Veterans Claims Intake 
Program (VCIP) records scanning system, the centralized mail 
initiative, and staff overtime. The Committee believes the 
additional funds for VCIP and overtime will further increase 
VA's capacity to tackle the claims backlog. The centralized 
mail initiative will also reduce claims processing time, and 
its decommissioning of documents will save VA resources as 
fewer documents will be stored in hardcopy.

Claims processing backlog

    Projected staffing.--The Committee is concerned that VBA 
may not be requesting adequate resources to expeditiously 
handle either the current backlog or to mitigate a predictable 
influx of new claims. Therefore, in addition to maintaining the 
current reporting requirements as listed in House Report 113-
90, the Committee directs VA to provide a report outlining 
future staffing requests based on anticipated separation 
numbers provided by DOD no later than 6 months after enactment 
of this Act. While this report is for the use of the 
Appropriations Committee, it is also to be made available by 
the VA Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs to any 
Member of the House of Representatives upon request.
    Fully developed claims.--The Committee commends the VA on 
efforts to reduce the disability claims backlog and encourages 
the VA to work more closely with congressional offices to 
eliminate the remaining backlog and improve claims processing 
time. The Fully Developed Claim (FDC) program instituted by the 
VA has proven to be an efficient and effective tool when 
utilized. The Committee supports the partnership the VA has 
established with veteran service organizations to expand the 
FDC program and urges the VA to develop similar partnerships 
with congressional offices to move more veterans into the FDC 
process.

Other issues

    Serving underserved areas.--Not later than 180 days after 
the date of the enactment of this act, the Committee requests 
the Secretary of VA to submit to Congress a report detailing 
the VBA's efforts to serve veterans in remote and underserved 
areas such as areas in Arizona, the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands, Alaska, and U.S. Territories. The 
report shall include the number of veterans living in such 
areas, the number of veterans served, the type of services 
available and provided, the frequency of service, follow-up 
actions, and the method of follow-up. The department shall also 
include in the report the costs incurred for providing service 
to veterans in these areas, the success or sufficiency of 
efforts and plans to improve services to veterans living in 
remote and underserved areas, as well as the resources needed 
to ensure these veterans receive access to earned benefits.
    Military sexual trauma (MST)-related claims.--The Committee 
is pleased with the VA's increased focus on disability claims 
based on in-service personal assault, including VA's intensive 
training and identification of specialized employees for MST-
related claims. However, the Committee continues to be informed 
about inconsistencies in the ratings process for MST victims 
and a lack of sufficient VA data identifying weaknesses and 
what strides have been made. Accordingly, the Committee 
requests the VA to report to the Committee certain information 
regarding MST-related claims to ensure veterans across the 
country receive consistent, timely and accurate decisions based 
on these claims. The VA should include in the report: (a) the 
number of MST-related claims submitted in fiscal year 2014; (b) 
the number and percentage of claims submitted by gender; (c) 
the number of denied claims, including number and percentage by 
gender; (d) the number of approved claims, including number and 
percentage by gender; (e) the number of claims assigned to each 
rating percentage; (f) the three most common reasons given for 
denial of such claims under section 5104(b)(1) of title 38, 
U.S.C.; (g) the number of denials that were based on the 
failure of the veteran to report for a medical examination; (h) 
the number of claims that were pending at the end of the fiscal 
year (including claims on appeal); (i) the average number of 
days to complete MST claims; and (j) a description of the 
training provided to employees of VBA specifically with respect 
to covered claims, including the frequency, length and content 
of such training.
    Job placement.--The Committee recommends that the VA, in 
conjunction with the Department of Labor, consider establishing 
a specialized job placement demonstration program. This program 
would target job placement efforts for those veterans who have 
not been able to secure employment through services currently 
offered by the VA and the Department of Labor. The program 
would be administered by an entity that has significant 
experience working with local businesses on job placement.
    Services for job-seekers.--The Committee believes that the 
employment of veterans should be a top priority for the 
Secretary and is pleased that the VA is working to upgrade 
VetSuccess.gov to provide a system that connects employers with 
registered job-seeking veterans. The improved system, called 
the eBenefits Employment Center, will be available to the 
Department of Labor's American Job Centers.
    Rehabilitation and training for veterans with difficult 
employment circumstances.--The Committee encourages the VA to 
expand its partnerships with non-profit employment and training 
organizations with experience in assisting individuals with 
difficult employment circumstances, such as prior substance 
abuse or criminal records, to find long-term employment.
    Filipino veterans.--The American Recovery and Reinvestment 
Act (P.L. 111-5) established a benefit for Filipino veterans 
who aided American troops in World War II. In the fiscal year 
2014 appropriations act, the Committee directed the VA to 
consider all forms of evidence of service and not just those 
originally considered. The Committee looks forward to VA 
execution of this directive.
    Change in regional office locations.--The Committee directs 
the Veterans Benefits Administration not to change the location 
of any of its regional offices without reporting to the 
Committee, at least 90 days in advance, the cost-benefit 
analysis of a proposed location change and how a location 
change will benefit veterans and increase operational 
efficiency.
    Training veteran medics.--According to data from the VA, 
former Armed Forces medics and Navy corpsmen fall within the 
category of highest unemployment rates among military service 
members. Although uniquely trained in the health care field, 
these veterans are often unlicensed health providers with 
limited ability to secure civilian job opportunities without a 
direct transition to a career as a licensed health 
professional. The Committee directs the VA to establish a pilot 
program in coordination with HBCU and other university health 
professions schools to channel Armed Forces medics and Navy 
Corpsmen to physician assistant training using their post-9/11 
GI bill benefits. This training would facilitate their 
acquisition of health provider jobs in both the civilian and VA 
sectors.
    Independent living services.--The Committee supports the 
budget proposal to increase the cap on the number of veterans 
eligible to participate in the Independent Living Program from 
2,700 to 3,000. The program has been highly successful in 
providing services to maximize independence in daily living for 
veterans who are too severely disabled to pursue employment. It 
allows eligible veterans to live independently and participate 
in family and community life.
    Disaster training.--The Committee notes that many returning 
veterans have skills and training that make them ideal for 
employment in a post-disaster environment. The Committee 
suggests that the VA consider directing these veterans to 
training that would qualify them for work in the wake of a 
natural disaster or terrorist attack and help place them in 
state and local agencies and non-governmental organizations 
that perform disaster relief work.
    Burial benefits.--The Committee is concerned about the 
potentially adverse impact of regulatory changes made in P.L. 
111-275, which increased certain burial and funeral benefits 
for veterans from $300 to $700. The Committee requests a report 
on the progress in implementing the new benefit standard; how 
the VA Maintenance Centers (MC) work to accurately inform the 
applicants about the benefits for which they are eligible 
before they apply; how the MC certifies that benefits and 
compensation due are processed and distributed accurately in 
the first attempt; and what efforts are being taken to ensure 
that the initial responses and Congressional requests are 
reviewed and processed in a timely and fair manner. This report 
should be submitted to the Committee no later than 90 days 
after the enactment of this Act.
    Benefits for the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting.--
The Committee remains concerned about the administration's 
classification of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood as workplace 
violence rather than an act of terrorism. The Committee is 
concerned that the victims are not and will not receive the 
proper benefits and medical care they are entitled to. The VA 
is to report back to the Committee by July 15, 2014 with a 
detailed analysis of the benefits and medical care the victims 
are eligible for under the Administration's current 
classification, and how these compare to the benefits and 
medical care they would receive now and into the future if this 
event were classified as an act of terrorism.

                     INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................    $3,703,344,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................     3,903,344,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................     3,870,552,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................       167,208,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................      (32,792,000)


    The Information Technology Systems account supports 
information technology (IT) services such as systems 
development and performance, operations and maintenance, 
information protection, and customer support. The program 
permits the effective and efficient delivery of veterans' 
healthcare services and benefits programs.
    Within the account total, the Committee allocates in bill 
language $1,039,000,000 for pay and associated costs, which is 
the same as the budget request; $2,283,217,000 for operations 
and maintenance, which is $50,000,000 below the request but 
$101,564,000 above fiscal year 2014; and $548,335,000 for 
development, modernization, and enhancement, which is 
$17,208,000 above the request. The bill makes available 
$31,170,000 of pay and associated costs and $160,000,000 of 
operations and maintenance funds until September 30, 2016. All 
development, modernization, and enhancement funds are available 
until September 30, 2016.
    In the current stringent budget environment, the Committee 
places the highest funding priority on information technology 
development projects, including the three described below, and 
directs the VA to apply the $50,000,000 reduction to the 
discretionary sustainment category of IT projects, which was 
increased by $157,776,000 in the budget request.
    The bill provides: the budget request of $137,000,000 for 
the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), the paperless 
claims processing system; the budget request of $99,614,000 for 
the Veterans Relationship Management (VRM) system which will 
create multiple communication channels for veterans; and 
$343,614,000 for the electronic health record, which is 
$17,208,000 above the budget request, restoring funding for the 
record to the fiscal year 2014 level. Within the electronic 
health record funding, $269,406,000 is provided for VistA 
Evolution, the modernization of the VA electronic health 
record, and $74,208,000 is provided for electronic health 
record interoperability and Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record 
(VLER) health. An administrative provision limits the funding 
for the electronic health record provided by the Veterans 
Health Administration to $123,074,000--$8,371,000 from the 
Medical Services account and $114,703,000 from the Medical 
Support and Compliance account.
    The Committee continues to feel it is critical to closely 
track VA's development of its electronic health record. In the 
aftermath of the DOD and VA decision not to pursue a single 
integrated health record, it becomes doubly important to ensure 
that the two health records are designed in a way that permits 
interoperability between the two--that computable data from one 
record can be viewed and used by clinicians with a different 
electronic record system. In the fiscal year 2014 bill, 
Congress included language requiring the VA to provide 
information on the cost, timeline, performance benchmarks, and 
interoperability capacity of the VistA Evolution system before 
release of 75 percent of the funding provided. The Committee 
believes it remains important to track the implementation of 
the system as described in the documents VA provided to fulfill 
the 2014 bill language directive. Accordingly, the Committee 
includes fiscal year 2015 bill language limiting expenditure of 
IT development funds for VistA Evolution to 25 percent of funds 
provided until the Secretary submits to the Committees on 
Appropriations of both Houses of Congress, and such Committees 
approve, a report that describes: (1) the status of VistA 
Evolution project development and any corrective actions taken 
where the plan established in the VistA Evolution program plan 
(Plan), the VistA 4 product roadmap (Roadmap), and VistA 
Evolution cost estimate, dated March 24, 2014 may have fallen 
short; (2) any changes to the scope of the VistA Evolution 
program as established in the Plan; (3) any refinements to the 
cost estimate presented in the Plan and actual costs incurred; 
(4) progress in meeting the schedule milestones that have been 
established in the Plan; (5) program performance relative to 
the performance measures that have been identified in the Plan 
and the Roadmap; (6) plans for testing the VistA system and the 
results of any testing; (7) VistA Evolution program risks and 
issues that have been identified and agency response; (8) the 
effort to achieve interoperability between the electronic 
health records of the Department of Defense and the Department 
of Veterans Affairs, including scope, cost, schedule and 
performance benchmarks; and (9) progress toward implementing 
the interoperable electronic health record throughout the two 
Departments' medical facilities.
    The Committee does not intend to delay the progress of 
developing the health record, but believes continuing oversight 
is necessary to ensure that the health record will have the 
capabilities and interoperability promised in the VA documents.
    The Committee was pleased to receive the VistA Evolution 
Program plan, dated March 24, 2014. It contains important 
information regarding the development of the VA VistA Evolution 
electronic record. However, the plan falls short in its 
description of efforts to achieve interoperability between DOD 
and VA medical records. The Committee directs VA to provide to 
the Committee by July 31, 2014 additional detail about the 
interoperability plan: (1) explanation of the definition of 
interoperability used by DOD and VA, including a description of 
the scope of planned interoperability; (2) what systems will be 
used to achieve interoperability; (3) the estimated total cost 
of reaching interoperability between the two systems; and (4) 
the timeline for achieving interoperability, with identified 
performance benchmarks.
    The Committee continues to include bill language 
prohibiting obligation or expenditure of funds for information 
technology systems development, modernization and enhancement 
until the VA submits to the Committees a certification of the 
amounts. In addition, the Committee continues bill language 
permitting the transfer of funding among the three subaccounts 
upon approval of the Committees. The bill contains language 
which allows for the reprogramming of funds among development, 
modernization and enhancement projects upon prior notification 
to, and approval by, the Committees. The bill continues to 
include language indicating that funds for development, 
modernization and enhancement are available only for the 
projects and in the amounts specified in the report 
accompanying the bill.
    The chart below reflects the Administration's budget 
request for development projects and includes the Committee 
recommendation for each. This chart will serve as the 
Department's approved list of development projects, and all 
requested changes are subject to the reprogramming guidelines 
as outlined in the accompanying Act.
<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>

    The Committee expects the Office of Information Technology 
to continue to provide an IT expenditure report to the 
Committees on Appropriations on a monthly basis. This report 
shall include a comparison to the project costs included in the 
development, modernization, and enhancement project funding 
chart included in the House report, and provide an explanation 
for any differences in excess of $1,000,000.

                      OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $121,411,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       121,411,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       121,411,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................             - - -
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Office of Inspector General was established by the 
Inspector General Act of 1978 and is responsible for the audit, 
investigation, and inspection of all Department of Veterans 
Affairs programs and operations. The overall operational 
objective is to focus available resources on areas which would 
help improve services to veterans and their beneficiaries, 
assist managers of Department programs to operate economically 
in accomplishing program goals, and to prevent and deter 
recurring and potential fraud, waste, and inefficiencies.
    The bill makes $10,000,000 of this funding available until 
September 30, 2016.
    The Committee requests a report from the Office of 
Inspector General describing the findings of the report the 
Office was directed to conduct in the fiscal year 2014 
conference report on the processes in place for the 
transmission of service treatment and personnel records from 
DOD to VA.

                      CONSTRUCTION, MAJOR PROJECTS




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $342,130,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       561,800,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       561,800,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................       219,670,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Construction, Major Projects appropriation provides for 
constructing, altering, extending, and improving any of the 
facilities under the jurisdiction or for the use of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, including planning, 
architectural and engineering services, assessments, and site 
acquisition where the estimated cost of a project is 
$10,000,000 or more.
    The Committee recommendation makes all but $34,000,000 of 
these funds available for a five-year period rather than until 
expended, reflecting concern about the lengthy period that VA 
has taken to design and build major construction projects. The 
Committee hopes that limiting the time period during which 
these funds may be used will motivate the VA to better plan and 
design projects before funding is requested.
    The Committee recommendation provides requested funding to 
continue four major construction projects with seismic 
deficiency and patient safety concerns. The Committee 
recommendation repeats an administrative provision which 
requires the Department to notify the Committee of all bid 
savings on contracts for construction projects that total at 
least $5,000,000 or 5 percent of the programmed amount of the 
project and prohibits any changes from the original scope of 
work identified in the justification material submitted with 
the budget for each project.
    The specific amounts recommended by the Committee are as 
follows:

                                            [In thousands of dollars]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Committee
                  Location                              Description             2015 request     recommendation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Veterans Health Administration (VHA):
    West Los Angeles, CA....................  Seismic deficiency corrections            35,000            35,000
    Long Beach, CA..........................  Seismic deficiency corrections           101,900           101,900
    Canandaigua, NY.........................  Construction and renovation...           122,400           122,400
    San Diego, CA...........................  Seismic deficiency corrections           187,500           187,500
    Advance Planning Fund...................  Various Stations..............            69,000            69,000
    Major Construction Staff................  Various Stations..............            24,000            24,000
    Claims Analysis.........................  Various Stations..............             2,000             2,000
    Hazardous Waste.........................  Various Stations..............             6,000             6,000
                                                                             -----------------------------------
        Total VHA...........................  ..............................           547,800           547,800
National Cemetery Administration (NCA):
    Advance Planning Fund...................  Various Stations..............             2,500             2,500
    NCA Land Acquisition Fund...............  ..............................             7,500             7,500
                                                                             -----------------------------------
        Total NCA...........................  ..............................            10,000            10,000
Dept Advance Planning Fund..................  ..............................             4,000             4,000
                                                                             -----------------------------------
    Major Construction total................  ..............................           561,800           561,800
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Facility construction priority-setting.--The Committee is 
aware that the VA undertakes a complex process each year to 
prioritize all the facility projects that are eligible for 
funding. But the Committee is disturbed that the priorities 
assigned to particular projects have changed from one year to 
the next without explanation. The Committee requests that the 
Department prepare each year no later than 30 days after the 
release of the budget request a comprehensive report describing 
the process used to identify that year's project priority 
listing, any changes in methodology or priority criteria, and 
the architectural design elements that must be in place before 
a project is considered ready for the priority list.
    Alternative financing.--The Committee is concerned about 
meeting the need for access to high quality veterans health 
care facilities, including in rural areas where access to 
facilities, including clinics and hospitals, is more limited. 
The Committee directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to 
work collaboratively with other executive branch agencies with 
substantial construction portfolios, private sector 
contractors, and other non-governmental experts, together with 
the appropriate congressional committees, to explore the 
feasibility of employing new funding mechanisms to meet the 
need for such facilities, including but not limited to private 
development lease-back arrangements, and to provide a report on 
their conclusions to the Committee no later than September 30, 
2014.
    In-patient facilities in rural areas.--Recognizing the lack 
of accessible VA services in some regions of the country, the 
Committee requested in the fiscal year 2013 report that the VA 
include in the VA Strategic Capital Improvement Plan (SCIP) the 
expansion of existing VA health care centers to include 
inpatient accommodations, urgent care services, and the full 
range of services required by women veterans when the absence 
of such services locally requires veterans to make round trips 
of more than five hours to access such services at a VA 
facility. The Committee instructs the VA to report within 180 
days of enactment of this act whether any health care center 
facilities currently in the SCIP include inpatient 
accommodations and urgent care. If such facilities are not 
currently included in the SCIP, the report should provide an 
explanation of why this is not VA's preferred mechanism to 
address veterans access problems.
    Energy efficient technologies.--As new construction and 
retrofit projects are undertaken at facilities to improve 
building energy efficiency and achieve the objectives 
prescribed in related statutes, executive orders, and 
initiatives, the Committee encourages VA to utilize new and 
underutilized, low-cost energy efficient technologies that 
provide the best value to taxpayers through minimal lifecycle 
costs.

                      CONSTRUCTION, MINOR PROJECTS




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................      $714,870,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................       495,200,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................       495,200,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................     (219,670,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Construction, Minor Projects appropriation provides for 
constructing, altering, extending, and improving any of the 
facilities under the jurisdiction or for the use of the 
Department, including planning, assessment of needs, 
architectural and engineering services, and site acquisition, 
where the estimated cost of a project is less than $10,000,000.
    As with the Major Construction account, the Committee 
recommendation makes these funds available for a five-year 
period rather than until expended as requested in the budget, 
reflecting concern about the long period that VA has taken to 
design and build construction projects.
    Errors in leasing.--The Committee has been concerned in the 
past with errors made by VA in the process of establishing 
leases for medical facilities. These errors have caused 
needless delay in projects providing needed facilities in 
underserved areas. The Committee requests a report within 60 
days of enactment of the act describing corrective actions the 
VA has taken, including training, revoking delegations of 
authority, and personnel changes, to ensure that such mistakes 
do not occur in the future.

       GRANTS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF STATE EXTENDED CARE FACILITIES




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $85,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        80,000,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        80,000,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................       (5,000,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    This appropriation provides grants to assist States to 
construct State home facilities, for furnishing domiciliary or 
nursing home care to veterans, and to expand, remodel, or alter 
existing buildings for furnishing domiciliary, nursing home, or 
hospital care to veterans in State homes. A grant may not 
exceed 65 percent of the total cost of the project. The bill 
makes this funding available until expended.
    Future funding needs.--The Committee is aware that more 
than half of the VA long-term care patient workload is now 
being met by State veterans homes. In light of the projected 
increase in elderly veterans in future years, VA may determine 
that additional State veterans homes need to be built. However, 
given the ongoing budget deficits being experienced by some 
State governments, the Committee is concerned that some States 
may be unable to contribute the required 35 percent of total 
construction costs needed to obtain Federal matching funds. 
Accordingly, the Committee requests a report no later than 60 
days after the enactment of this act describing possible 
alternative financing mechanisms to ensure that a sufficient 
number of State veterans homes are available to meet the needs 
of future patients.

             GRANTS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF VETERANS CEMETERIES




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $46,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        45,000,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        45,000,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................       (1,000,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    This program provides grants to assist States and tribal 
governments with the establishment, expansion, and improvement 
of veterans cemeteries which are operated and permanently 
maintained by the States and tribal governments. Grants under 
this program fund up to 100 percent of construction costs and 
the initial equipment expenses when the cemetery is 
established. The States and tribal governments remain 
responsible for providing the land and for paying all costs 
related to the operation and maintenance of the State 
cemeteries, including the costs for subsequent equipment 
purchases.
    The bill makes this funding available until expended.

                       Administrative Provisions

    The bill includes 33 administrative provisions, 31 of which 
were included in the fiscal year 2014 bill and two of which are 
new.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 201 allowing for the transfer of 
funds among three mandatory appropriations. The Administration 
proposal to modify this provision is not adopted.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 202 allowing the Department to 
transfer funding among the three medical appropriations 
accounts in fiscal year 2015. The Administration proposal to 
modify this provision is not adopted.
    The bill includes section 203 allowing for salaries and 
expenses funds to be used for hire of passenger vehicles, lease 
of facilities or land, and purchase of uniforms.
    The bill includes section 204 providing that only funding 
in the ``Construction, Major Projects'' and ``Construction, 
Minor Projects'' accounts can be used for the purchase of any 
site for any new hospital or home or to construct any new 
hospital or home.
    The bill includes section 205 requiring the Department to 
be reimbursed for medical services it provides to any person 
not defined as a beneficiary to ensure the Department is 
receiving payment for all medical services provided.
    The bill includes section 206 allowing for the use of funds 
appropriated in fiscal year 2015 for ``Compensation and 
Pensions'', ``Readjustment Benefits'', and ``Veterans Insurance 
and Indemnities'' for payment of accrued obligations recorded 
in the last quarter of fiscal year 2014.
    The bill includes section 207 allowing for the use of 
fiscal year 2015 funds to pay prior year obligations resulting 
from implementation of sections 3328(a), 3334, and 3712(a) of 
title 31, United States Code.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 208 allowing the Department to 
use surplus earnings from the national service life insurance, 
U.S. Government life insurance, and veterans special life 
insurance program to administer these programs.
    The bill includes section 209 allowing the Department to 
obligate enhanced-use lease proceeds for administrative 
expenses that were incurred in a prior fiscal year during the 
year funds are received.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 210 limiting the amount of 
reimbursement the Office of Resolution Management and the 
Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication can 
charge other offices and accounts of the Department for 
services provided.
    The bill includes section 211 prohibiting the Secretary 
from approving new leases of real property with estimated 
annual rental cost of more than $1,000,000 unless the 
Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress approve 
a report on such lease within 30 days of receipt. The 
Administration proposal to modify this provision is not 
adopted.
    The bill includes section 212 requiring the Department to 
collect current and accurate third-party reimbursement 
information for the purposes of third-party insurance 
collections. If persons receiving care or medical services do 
not disclose this information, the Department is allowed to 
bill them reasonable charges for services provided.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 213 allowing the Department to 
use enhanced-use lease funds for construction and alteration of 
medical facilities.
    The bill includes section 214 allowing the Department to 
use the ``Medical Services'' appropriation for expenses related 
to the broader mission of medical care to veterans.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 215 allowing the Department to 
transfer Medical Care Collections to the ``Medical Services'' 
appropriation to be used for veterans medical care and makes 
those funds available until expended.
    The bill includes section 216 allowing veterans who reside 
in Alaska to obtain medical services from medical facilities 
supported by the Indian Health Service or tribal organizations, 
and provides for reimbursement for those services from the 
Department of Veterans Affairs.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 217 allowing the Department to 
transfer the proceeds received from the transfer of real 
property deposited into the Department of Veterans Affairs 
Capital Asset Fund to the major and minor construction 
appropriations accounts and makes those funds available until 
expended.
    The bill includes section 218 providing that no funds may 
be used to prohibit Directors of the Veterans Integrated 
Service Networks from conducting outreach or marketing 
programs. The Administration proposed to delete this provision.
    The bill includes section 219 requiring the Secretary to 
submit quarterly reports to the Committees on Appropriations of 
both Houses of Congress on the financial status of the Veterans 
Health Administration. The Administration proposed to delete 
this provision.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 220 requiring the Department to 
notify and receive approval from the Committees on 
Appropriations of any proposed transfer of funding to or from 
the ``Information Technology Systems'' account. The 
Administration proposal to modify this provision is not 
adopted.
    The bill includes section 221 limiting the amount of 
funding made available under the ``Medical Facilities'' account 
for non-recurring maintenance that may be obligated during the 
last two months of the fiscal year. The Administration proposal 
to delete this provision is not adopted.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 222 permitting the transfer of 
$252,366,000 appropriated for medical accounts, minor 
construction, and information technology systems to the Joint 
Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
Facility Demonstration Fund for the operation of facilities 
designated as combined Federal medical facilities.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 223 permitting the transfer of 
funds deposited in the Medical Care Collections Fund to the 
Joint Medical Facility Demonstration Fund for facilities 
designated as combined Federal medical facilities.

                     (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

    The bill includes section 224 directing that a minimum of 
$15,000,000 shall be transferred from the three medical care 
appropriations to the Department of Defense/Department of 
Veterans Affairs Health Care Sharing Incentive Fund, to be 
available until expended.
    The bill includes section 225 rescinding and 
reappropriating $1,400,000,000 from the Medical Services, 
$100,000,000 from Medical Support and Compliance, and 
$250,000,000 from Medical Facilities accounts.
    The bill includes section 226 requiring the Secretary to 
notify the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of 
Congress of all bid savings in Major Construction projects that 
total at least $5,000,000, or five percent of the programmed 
amount, whichever is less. Such notification must occur within 
14 days of a contract. The Secretary is required to notify the 
Committees 14 days prior to the obligation of such bid savings 
and shall describe the anticipated use of such savings. The 
budget request proposed to delete this provision.
    The bill includes section 227 prohibiting the original 
scope of work for a Major Construction project from being 
increased above the scope specified for that project in the 
original justification data provided to the Congress as part of 
the request for appropriations. The budget request proposed to 
delete this provision.
    The bill includes section 228 requiring the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs to provide on a quarterly basis to the 
Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress 
notification of any single national outreach and awareness 
marketing campaign in which obligations exceed $2,000,000. The 
budget request proposed to delete this provision.
    The bill includes section 229 requiring the Department to 
submit a reprogramming request if it wishes to change fiscal 
year 2015 spending on Medical Services initiatives identified 
in the budget justification by more than $25,000,000. The 
budget request proposed to delete this provision.
    The bill includes section 230 identifying the maximum 
funding that may be obligated for Veterans Health 
Administration VistA Evolution and electronic health record 
interoperability activities. The budget request proposed to 
delete this provision.
    The bill includes section 231 requiring advance written 
notification to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses 
of Congress 15 days prior to organizational changes which 
result in the transfer of 25 or more full-time equivalent staff 
from one organizational unit to another. The budget request 
proposed to delete this provision.
    The bill includes section 232 prohibiting funds made 
available by this Act from being used to award a contract to 
any contractor whose past performance record indicates that its 
performance during the construction of a VA facility resulted 
in a completion date more than 24 months later than the 
original agreed-upon completion date.
    The bill includes section 233 rescinding $38,000,000 of 
unobligated balances available from prior year discretionary 
appropriations, with the Secretary given authority to allocate 
this rescission among accounts.
    The bill does not include a provision requested in the 
budget limiting contracting out of functions performed by more 
than ten employees without a fair competition process. This 
limitation is unnecessary because it has already been enacted 
into law.

                               TITLE III


                            RELATED AGENCIES


                  American Battle Monuments Commission


                         SALARIES AND EXPENSES




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $63,200,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        70,100,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        75,000,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................        11,800,000
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................         4,900,000


    The American Battle Monuments Commission is responsible for 
the administration, operation and maintenance of cemetery and 
war memorials to commemorate the achievements and sacrifices of 
the American Armed Forces where they have served since April 6, 
1917. In performing these functions, the Commission maintains 
24 permanent American military cemetery memorials and 25 
monuments, memorials, and markers.
    The Committee includes additional funds to support the 
interpretive program and nonrecurring maintenance needs. 
Language is included allowing up to $7,500 to be used for 
official reception and representation expenses.

                 FOREIGN CURRENCY FLUCTUATIONS ACCOUNT




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $14,100,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request est...................         1,900,000
Committee recommendation in the bill est..............         1,900,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................      (12,200,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Commission's Foreign Currency Fluctuations Account is 
authorized pursuant to 36 U.S.C. 2109 to pay the costs of 
salaries and expenses that exceed the amount appropriated 
because of fluctuations in currency exchange rates of foreign 
countries occurring after a budget request for the Commission 
is submitted to Congress. The account may not be used for any 
other purpose.
    The Committee recommendation includes bill language as 
proposed which makes ``such sums as may be necessary'' 
available to the Commission to cover unanticipated foreign 
currency fluctuations, currently estimated at $1,900,000. The 
Committee notes that the budget proposal adjusts the 
Commission's rate for euro transactions so that charges to the 
foreign currency account comply with recommendations made by 
the Government Accountability Office. Therefore, a portion of 
the funds previously included within the Foreign Currency 
Fluctuation Account are now proposed and provided within the 
Salaries and Expenses account.

           United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims


                         SALARIES AND EXPENSES




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $35,408,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        31,386,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        31,386,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................       (4,022,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Veterans' Judicial Review Act established the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The Court reviews appeals 
from claimants seeking review of a benefit denial. The Court 
has the authority to overturn findings of fact, regulations, 
and interpretations of law.
    The Committee understands that the decrease proposed in the 
budget request is because funding obligations imposed by Beer, 
supra and the unfunded liability in the Retirement Fund have 
been resolved. The Committee notes, however, that the Court has 
historically experienced an increase in appeals a year after 
the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) has an increase in claims. 
The Committee directs the Court to monitor BVA's claims 
workload and ensure that future Court budget requests include a 
future caseload plan and anticipate any increase in workload in 
order to avoid a backlog.

         Department of Defense--Civil Cemeterial Expenses, Army


                         SALARIES AND EXPENSES




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $65,800,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        45,800,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        61,881,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................       (3,919,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................        16,081,000


    The Secretary of the Army is responsible for the 
administration, operation and maintenance of Arlington National 
Cemetery (ANC) and the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National 
Cemetery. In addition to its principal function as a national 
cemetery, ANC is the site of approximately 3,000 non-funeral 
ceremonies each year and has approximately 4,000,000 visitors 
annually.
    The Committee is frustrated to receive a budget proposal 
that has again included funding for Arlington National Cemetery 
within the Operation and Maintenance, Army account. This 
practice undermines federal budgeting principles requiring 
expenditures to be charged against the same account each year, 
once an account has been identified for such purpose. The 
Committee rejects this proposal and instead provides all funds 
within the Cemeterial Expenses, Army account. The Committee 
directs that future budget requests will include all funding 
proposed for Arlington National Cemetery within the Cemeterial 
Expenses, Army account.
    Cemetery capacity.--The Committee supports the efforts of 
the ANC Advisory Commission to identify solutions for when ANC 
inevitably reaches capacity. Accurately identifying the burial 
needs of our service members, veterans, and their families from 
all 50 states is critical to ensuring that the future plans for 
ANC meet those needs. The Committee recommends the ANC Advisory 
Commission establish metrics to determine whether the 
Department of the Army should establish a new national cemetery 
of the same stature as ANC. The Committee requests the ANC 
Advisory Committee to develop those metrics in consultation 
with the Committee.
    Arlington land exchange.--The Committee recognizes that the 
future burial capacity of ANC could be increased through the 
closure and relocation of current roadways adjacent to the 
cemetery. The modification of the Columbia Pike/Washington 
Boulevard interchange, and the realignment of all associated 
utilities would remove existing barriers to the contiguous 
expansion into the area of the former Navy Annex site. The 
Committee urges the Secretary of the Army to provide the 
Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress with an 
amended Master Plan and Navy Annex Area Development Plan 
detailing how the land the Cemetery would receive in the 
contemplated land exchanges will be utilized for internments, 
other Cemetery needs and the location of the future Pentagon 
Memorial Visitor's Center.

                      Armed Forces Retirement Home


                               TRUST FUND

                       OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................       $66,800,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................        62,400,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................        62,400,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................       (4,400,000)
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) consists of two 
retirement communities, one in Washington, D.C. and the other 
in Gulfport, Mississippi. The Washington, D.C. facility was 
established in 1851 as a soldiers' home for elderly and 
disabled veterans. The original home for Navy officers, 
sailors, and Marines was established in Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania in 1811, and was relocated to Gulfport, 
Mississippi almost a century and a half later.

                            CAPITAL PROGRAM




Fiscal year 2014 enacted level........................        $1,000,000
Fiscal year 2015 budget request.......................         1,000,000
Committee recommendation in the bill..................         1,000,000
Comparison with:
    Fiscal year 2014 enacted level....................             - - -
    Fiscal year 2015 budget request...................             - - -


    The Committee recommendation provides authority to expend 
$1,000,000 from the Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund for 
construction and renovations.

                        Administrative Provision

    The bill includes 1 provision that was in effect in fiscal 
year 2014. The administrative provision included in the bill is 
as follows:
    The bill includes section 301 permitting Arlington National 
Cemetery to provide funds to Arlington County to relocate a 
water main.

                                TITLE IV


                           GENERAL PROVISIONS

    The bill includes 15 provisions that are effective in 
fiscal year 2014 and the new provisions as follows:
    The bill includes section 401 prohibiting the obligation of 
funds beyond the current fiscal year unless expressly so 
provided.
    The bill includes section 402 prohibiting the use of funds 
for programs, projects or activities not in compliance with 
Federal law relating to risk assessment, the protection of 
private property rights, or unfunded mandates.
    The bill includes section 403 prohibiting the use of funds 
to support or defeat legislation pending before Congress.
    The bill includes section 404 encouraging all departments 
and agencies funded in this Act to expand the use of ``E-
Commerce'' technologies and procedures.
    The bill includes section 405 specifying the Congressional 
committees that are to receive all reports and notifications.
    The bill includes section 406 prohibiting the transfer of 
funds to any instrumentality of the United States Government 
without authority from an appropriations Act.
    The bill includes section 407 prohibiting any funds in this 
Act to be used for a project or program named for an individual 
serving as a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner of the 
United States House of Representatives.
    The bill includes section 408 requiring all reports 
submitted to the Congress to be posted on official websites of 
the submitting agency.
    The bill includes section 409 prohibiting the use of funds 
to establish or maintain a computer network unless such network 
blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of pornography, 
except for law enforcement investigation, prosecution or 
adjudication activities.
    The bill includes section 410 prohibiting the use of funds 
for payment of first-class travel by an employee of the 
executive branch.
    The bill includes section 411 prohibiting the use of funds 
in this Act for the renovation, expansion, or construction of 
any facility in the continental United States for the purpose 
of housing any individual who has been detained at the United 
States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
    The bill includes section 412 prohibiting the use of funds 
in this Act for any contract where the contractor has not 
complied with E-Verify requirements.
    The bill includes section 413 limiting the use of funds to 
enter into a contract, memorandum of understanding, or 
cooperative agreement with, make a grant to, or provide a loan 
or loan guarantee to, corporations convicted of a felony 
criminal violation of Federal law within the preceding 24 
months. The Department shall provide an annual report to the 
Committee, due within 30 days of the end of each fiscal year, 
detailing its implementation of this provision, including a 
list of affected corporations and a justification for any cases 
in which the Department has determined that the limitation 
should not apply.
    The bill includes section 414 limiting the use of funds to 
enter into a contract, memorandum of understanding, or 
cooperative agreement with, make a grant to, or provide a loan 
or loan guarantee to, corporations with certain unpaid Federal 
tax liabilities. The Department shall provide an annual report 
to the Committee, due within 30 days of the end of each fiscal 
year, detailing its implementation of this provision, including 
a list of affected corporations and a justification for any 
cases in which the Department has determined that the 
limitation should not apply.
    The bill includes section 415 prohibiting the use of funds 
in this Act by the Department of Defense or the Department of 
Veterans Affairs for the purchase or lease of a new vehicle 
except in accordance with Presidential Memorandum--Federal 
Fleet Performance, dated May 24, 2011.
    The bill includes new section 416 establishing a ``Spending 
Reduction Account'' in the bill.

              House of Representatives Report Requirements

    The following items are included in accordance with various 
requirements of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is a statement of 
general performance goals and objectives for which this measure 
authorizes funding:
    The Committee on Appropriations considers program 
performance, including a program's success in developing and 
attaining outcome-related goals and objectives, in developing 
funding recommendations.

                              RESCISSIONS

    Pursuant to clause 3(f)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following table lists the 
rescissions in the accompanying bill:

                          Department/Activity


                   AMOUNTS RECOMMENDED FOR RESCISSION




Department of Defense, Military Construction, Army           $79,577,000
 (Sec. 129)...........................................
42 USC 3374 (Sec. 131)................................       100,000,000
NATO Security Investment Program (Sec. 130)...........        25,000,000
Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Services*.....     1,400,000,000
Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Support and          100,000,000
 Compliance*..........................................
Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Facilities*...       250,000,000
Department of Veterans Affairs, Prior Year Unobligated       38,000,000
 Balances.............................................

*Reappropriated in the bill

                           Transfer of Funds

    Pursuant to clause 3(f)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following statements are 
submitted describing the transfer of funds provided in the 
accompanying bill.
    Language is included to allow for the transfer of funds 
from Family Housing, Construction accounts to the Department of 
Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund and funds from Military 
Construction accounts to the Department of Defense Military 
Unaccompanied Housing Improvement Fund.
    Language is included to provide transfer authority from the 
BRAC account to the Homeowners Assistance Program.
    Language is included to allow the transfer of expired funds 
to the ``Foreign Currency Fluctuations, Construction, Defense'' 
account.
    Language is included to transfer not to exceed $15,430,000 
from Compensation and Pensions to General Operating Expenses, 
Veterans Benefits Administration and Information Technology 
Systems. These funds are for the administrative costs of 
implementing cost-savings proposals required by the Omnibus 
Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and the Veterans' Benefits 
Act of 1992. Language is also included transferring funds to 
the medical care collections fund to augment funding of medical 
facilities for nursing home care provided to pensioners.
    Language is included to permit the transfer of funds from 
General Administration to General Operating Expenses, Veterans 
Benefits Administration.
    Language is included to permit the transfer of funds 
between Information Technology Systems development projects and 
among the three sub-accounts identified in bill language 
subject to the approval of the Committee.
    Language is included to provide authority for the 
Department of Veterans Affairs for any funds appropriated in 
2015 for Compensation and Pensions, Readjustment Benefits, and 
Veterans Insurance and Indemnities to be transferred among 
those three accounts.
    Language is included to transfer funds among the Medical 
Services, Medical Support and Compliance, and Medical 
Facilities accounts.
    Language is included to permit the funds from three life 
insurance funds to be transferred to General Operating 
Expenses, Veterans Benefits Administration and Information 
Technology Systems for the costs of administering such 
programs.
    Language is included to permit up to $46,304,000 to be 
transferred to General Administration and Information 
Technology Systems from any funds appropriated in fiscal year 
2015 to reimburse the Office of Resolution Management and the 
Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication for 
services provided.
    Language is included to transfer certain funds derived from 
enhanced-use leasing activities to the Construction, Major 
Projects and Construction, Minor Projects accounts.
    Language is included to transfer funds from the Medical 
Care Collections Fund to the Medical Services account.
    Language is included to allow the transfer of funds from 
the Capital Asset Fund to the Construction, Major Projects and 
Construction, Minor Projects accounts.
    Language is included to allow the transfer of funds from 
various accounts to the Information Technology Systems account 
subject to approval by the Committee.
    Language is included to allow the transfer of funds 
provided for the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Joint 
Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
Facility Demonstration Fund.
    Language is included permitting funds deposited to the 
Medical Care Collections Fund for health care provided at a 
combined Federal medical facility to be transferred to the 
Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs 
Medical Facility Demonstration Fund.
    Language is included under the Department of Veterans 
Affairs that would transfer no less than $15,000,000 for the 
DOD/VA Health Care Sharing Incentive Fund as authorized by 
section 8111(d) of title 38, United States Code.

   Disclosure of Earmarks and Congressionally Directed Spending Items

    Neither the bill nor the report contains any Congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9 of rule XXI.

                 Changes in Application of Existing Law

    Pursuant to clause 3(f)(1)(A) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following statements are 
submitted describing the effect of provisions in the 
accompanying bill that directly or indirectly change the 
application of existing law.
    Language is included in various parts of the bill to 
continue on-going activities that require annual authorization 
or additional legislation, which to date have not been enacted.
    Language is included in various parts of the bill to place 
limitations on the use of funds in the bill or change existing 
limitations and which might, under some circumstances, be 
construed as changing the application of existing law.
    Language is included in various parts of the bill to allow 
the Secretary of Defense to exceed certain limitations upon 
notification to the Committee.
    Language is included in various parts of the bill to allow 
funding to be used for official reception and representation 
expenses.
    Language is included in various parts of the bill to enable 
various appropriations to remain available for more than one 
year for some programs for which the basic authority 
legislation does not presently authorize such extended 
availability.
    Language is included in various parts of the bill to permit 
the transfer of funds to other accounts.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit payments for 
cost-plus-a-fixed-fee contracts under certain circumstances.
    Language is included in various parts of the bill to allow 
funds to be used for the hire of passenger motor vehicles.
    Language is included under Title I to allow advances to the 
Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation 
under certain circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit the use of 
funds to begin construction of new bases without specific 
appropriations.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit the use of 
funds for purchase of land or land easements under certain 
circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit the use of 
funds for land acquisition, site preparation, and utility 
installation for family housing unless funds have been made 
available in annual appropriations Acts.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit the use of 
minor construction funds to transfer an activity between 
installations without prior notification.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit the use of 
funds for the procurement of steel for any activity if American 
steel producers have been denied the opportunity to compete for 
such steel procurements.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit the use of 
funds to pay real property taxes in any foreign nation.
    Language is included under Title I to prohibit the use of 
funds to initiate a new installation overseas without prior 
notification.
    Language is included under Title I to limit the use of 
funds for architect and engineer contracts under certain 
circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I to limit the use of 
funds for awarding contracts to foreign contractors under 
certain circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I to require the 
Department of Defense to notify the appropriate committees of 
Congress of any proposed military exercises under certain 
circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I to allow prior year 
construction funding to be available for currently authorized 
projects.
    Language is included under Title I to allow payment for the 
cost associated with supervision, inspection, overhead, 
engineering and design on family housing or military 
construction projects that are being completed with expired or 
lapsed funds.
    Language is included under Title I to allow funds to be 
expended on military construction projects for four fiscal 
years after enactment under certain circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I to allow for the 
transfer of BRAC proceeds to the BRAC account.
    Language is included under Title I to allow construction 
funds to be transferred to Housing Improvement Funds.
    Language is included under Title I to allow for the 
transfer of BRAC funds to the Homeowners Assistance Program.
    Language is included under Title I to limit funds for the 
operation and maintenance of family housing to those provided 
in this appropriation and to limit amounts expended on repairs 
of general and flag officer quarters under certain 
circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I to allow funds in the 
Ford Island Improvement Account to be available until expended 
for certain purposes.
    Language is included under Title I to allow for the 
transfer of expired funding to the Foreign Currency Fluctuation 
Account under certain circumstances.
    Language is included under Title I limiting movement of an 
Army unit with a testing mission.
    Language is included under Title I that rescinds funds from 
prior year appropriations Acts.
    Language is included under Title II to require that the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs establish a priority for 
treatment of veterans who are service-connected disabled, lower 
income, or have special needs.
    Language is included under Title II to require that the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs give priority funding of basic 
medical benefits to priority groups 1 through 6.
    Language is included under Title II to allow the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs to dispense prescription drugs from VHA 
facilities to enrolled veterans with privately written 
prescriptions.
    Language is included under Title II providing for the 
reimbursement to the Department of Defense for the costs of 
overseas employee mail.
    Language is included under Title II to require approval of 
a transfer between development, modernization, and enhancement 
projects in the Information Technology Systems account.
    Language is included under Title II establishing time 
limitations and reporting requirements concerning the 
obligation of Major Construction funds, limiting the use of 
funds, and allowing the use of funds for program costs.
    Language is included under Title II to allow Minor 
Construction funds to be used to repair non-medical facilities 
damaged by natural disaster or catastrophe.
    Language is included under Title II permitting transfers 
between mandatory and discretionary accounts, limiting and 
providing for the use of certain funds, funding administrative 
expenses associated with life insurance programs from excess 
program revenues, allowing reimbursement from enhanced-use 
leases and for certain services, requiring notification of new 
lease agreements, requiring disclosure of insurance and income 
information, allowing a recovery audit collection program, 
allowing veterans in the State of Alaska to use Indian Health 
Service facilities under certain conditions, allowing medical 
services funds for recreational and funeral expenses, limiting 
the obligation of non-recurring maintenance funds during the 
last two months of the fiscal year, and requiring approval of a 
reprogramming prior to any major reallocation of medical 
services initiatives funding.
    Language is included under the Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims, Salaries and Expenses, to permit the use of 
funds for a pro bono program.
    Language is included under Cemeterial Expenses, Army, 
Salaries and Expenses, to permit the use of funds for parking 
maintenance and repairs.
    Language is included under Cemeterial Expenses, Army, 
Salaries and Expenses, to permit the use of funds to relocate a 
water main.
    Language is included under Title IV to limit the use of 
funds for Federal entities when they are not in compliance with 
Federal law relating to risk assessment, the protection of 
private property rights, or unfunded mandates.
    Language is included under Title IV to limit the use of 
funds for publicity or propaganda designed to support or defeat 
legislation pending before Congress.
    Language is included under Title IV to prohibit the use of 
funds for a project or program named for a serving Member of 
the United States Congress.
    Language is included under Title IV prohibiting funds from 
being used to maintain or establish a computer network unless 
such network blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of 
pornography.
    Language is included under Title IV prohibiting funds from 
being used to pay for first class travel in violation of 
federal regulations.
    Language is included under Title IV prohibiting funds from 
being used to execute a contract for goods or services where a 
contractor has not complied with Executive Order 12989.
    Language is included under Title IV prohibiting funds from 
being provided to any corporation that was convicted of a 
felony criminal violation.
    Language is included under Title IV prohibiting funds from 
being provided to a corporation with an unpaid Federal tax 
liability.
    Language is included under Title IV prohibiting funds from 
being used by the Department of Defense or the Department of 
Veterans Affairs for the purchase or lease of a new vehicle 
except in accordance with Presidential Memorandum--Federal 
Fleet Performance, dated May 24, 2011.

                  Appropriations Not Authorized by Law

    Pursuant to clause 3(f)(1)(B) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following table lists the 
appropriations in the accompanying bill which are not 
authorized by law for the period concerned:
<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>

                          Program Duplication

    No provision of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                          Directed Rule Making

    The bill does not direct any rule making.

                          Full Committee Votes

    Pursuant to the provisions of clause 3(b) of rule XIII of 
the House of Representatives, the results of each roll call 
vote on an amendment or on the motion to report, together with 
the names of those voting for and those voting against, are 
printed below:

Roll Call No. 1

    Date: April 9, 2014.
    Measure: Military Construction/Veterans Affairs 
Appropriations Bill, FY 2015.
    Motion by: Mr. Moran.
    Description of motion: To strike section 411 of the bill 
which prohibits the use of funds for the renovation, expansion, 
or construction of any facility in the continental United 
States for the purpose of housing any individual who has been 
detained at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, 
Cuba.
    Results: Defeated 20 yeas to 30 nays.
        Members Voting Yea            Members Voting Nay
Mr. Bishop                          Mr. Aderholt
Ms. DeLauro                         Mr. Amodei
Mr. Farr                            Mr. Calvert
Mr. Fattah                          Mr. Cole
Mr. Honda                           Mr. Crenshaw
Ms. Kaptur                          Mr. Cuellar
Ms. Lee                             Mr. Culberson
Mrs. Lowey                          Mr. Dent
Ms. McCollum                        Mr. Diaz-Balart
Mr. Moran                           Mr. Fleischmann
Mr. Pastor                          Mr. Fortenberry
Ms. Pingree                         Mr. Frelinghuysen
Mr. Price                           Ms. Granger
Mr. Quigley                         Mr. Graves
Ms. Roybal-Allard                   Dr. Harris
Mr. Ryan                            Ms. Herrera Beutler
Mr. Schiff                          Mr. Joyce
Mr. Serrano                         Mr. Kingston
Mr. Visclosky                       Mr. Latham
Ms. Wasserman Schultz               Mr. Nunnelee
                                    Mr. Owens
                                    Mr. Roby
                                    Mr. Rogers
                                    Mr. Rooney
                                    Mr. Simpson
                                    Mr. Stewart
                                    Mr. Valadao
                                    Mr. Wolf
                                    Mr. Womack
                                    Mr. Yoder

          Compliance With Rule XIII, Cl. 3(e) (Ramseyer Rule)

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee notes that the 
accompanying bill does not propose to repeal or amend a statute 
or part thereof.

                 Comparison With the Budget Resolution

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives and section 308(a)(1)(A) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the following table compares 
the levels of new budget authority provided in the bill with 
the appropriate allocation under section 302(b) of the Budget 
Act.

                        [In millions of dollars]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                302(b) allocation         This bill
                             -------------------------------------------
                                Budget                Budget
                              authority   Outlays   Authority   Outlays
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mandatory...................     85,315     85,070     85,315        \1\
                                                                  85,070
Discretionary...............     71,499     77,455     71,499     76,101
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\Includes outlays from prior-year authority.

                    Five-Year Projection of Outlays

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives and section 308(a)(1)(B) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the following table contains 
five-year projections prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office of outlays associated with the budget authority provided 
in the accompanying bill:

                                                                Millions
Budget Authority........................................         $71,499
Outlays:
2015....................................................      \2\$92,294
2016....................................................           4,702
2017....................................................           3,249
2018....................................................           1,749
2019 and future years...................................           1,066
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
\2\Excludes outlays from prior-year budget authority.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

               Assistance to State and Local Governments

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives and section 308(a)(1)(C) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the amount of financial 
assistance to State and local governments is as follows:

                                                                Millions
Budget Authority........................................            $142
Fiscal Year 2015 outlays resulting therefrom............              -7

                               State List

    The following is a complete listing, by title, State and 
country, of the Committee's recommendations for military 
construction and family housing projects:
<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


                             MINORITY VIEWS

    The fiscal year 2015 Military Construction, Veterans 
Affairs and Related Agencies appropriations bill sufficiently 
funds critical military construction, family housing and 
quality of life improvements and enhancements for our brave men 
and women in uniform and their families. In addition, this bill 
provides adequate funding for Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA) programs and for our heroes who have made the ultimate 
sacrifice and are honored in the battle monuments and 
cemeteries funded in this bill.
    We are pleased that the bill continues to build on the 
fiscal year 2014 bill's efforts to end the veterans' claims 
backlog. First, the Committee bill continues the aggressive 
monthly reporting requirements from each specific regional 
office on claims processing performance and quarterly reports 
on remediation efforts at the poorest performing regional 
offices. Second, the bill provides $20 million in additional 
funding to the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) for 
digital scanning of health and benefits files, the centralized 
mail initiative, and staff overtime to increase workforce 
capacity to reduce the backlog. Finally, the bill fully funds 
the administration request of $173.3 million for the Veterans 
Benefits Management System (VBMS), which is the paperless IT 
system designed to speed processing. With the resources 
provided in the bill, the VA must eliminate the backlog in 
2015.
    The bill continues to closely track the VA's development of 
its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology 
Architecture (VistA) Evolution electronic health record. In the 
aftermath of the DOD and VA decision not to pursue a single 
integrated health record, it becomes doubly important to ensure 
that the two health records are designed in a way that permits 
interoperability between the two systems. The bill continues 
the practice of the fiscal year 2013 and 2014 bills, to include 
language requiring the VA to provide information on the VistA 
Evolution system before release of 75 percent of the funding 
provided. The fiscal year 2015 directive requires information 
to track the implementation of the system as described in the 
documents VA provided to fulfill the 2014 bill language 
directive. The bill does not intend to delay the progress of 
developing the health record but believes continuing oversight 
is necessary to ensure that the health record will have the 
capabilities and the interoperability promised in the VA 
documents. The bill also requires specific information on the 
planned interoperability capability of VistA Evolution, to be 
provided to the Committee by July 31, 2014, so the Committee 
can continue to monitor this endeavor. We strongly believe that 
electronic access to health records makes all files easily 
searchable, ultimately leading to higher quality care, faster 
processing times, and reduction of the backlog.
    The bill reported out of the Committee represents a good, 
reasonable approach, preserves our long commitment to our 
veterans and our military facilities, and continues a 
bipartisan tradition of providing funding levels that Members 
on both sides agree are appropriate, while avoiding contentious 
legislative riders that complicate passage.

                                   Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
                                   Nita M. Lowey.