FY2016 Military Construction Appropriations: President's Request and House Markup Compared

This report briefly discusses the financing of military construction. Military construction is normally funded through Title I of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill and provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide.

CRS Insights FY2016 Military Construction Appropriations: President's Request and House Markup Compared Daniel H. Else, Acting Section Research Manager (delse@crs.loc.gov, 7-4996) April 24, 2015 (IN10262) The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force) are empowered by statute (10 U.S.C. §2802) to carry out military construction projects, land acquisitions, and defense access road projects (as described under 23 U.S.C. §210) as are authorized by law. Such authorization is usually given in the annual National Defense Authorization Act. Military construction projects are defined in statute as including "surveys and site preparation; acquisition, conversion, rehabilitation, and installation of facilities; acquisition and installation of equipment and appurtenances integral to the project; acquisition and installation of supporting facilities (including utilities) and appurtenances incident to the project; and the planning, supervision, administration, and overhead incident to the project." Military construction is normally funded through Title I of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill and provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. It capitalizes military family housing and the U.S. share of the NATO Security Investment Program and finances the implementation of installation closures and realignments. Military construction appropriations have been joined with those for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Court of Veterans Appeals, the Armed Forces Retirement Homes, and Arlington National Cemetery since the 108th Congress. Title IV of the bill funds construction outside of the United States supporting Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) pursuant to Section 251(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (for more information on the act, see CRS Report R41901, Statutory Budget Controls in Effect Between 1985 and 2002, by Megan S. Lynch). This separate title was created by the congressional committee to segregate construction supporting OCO and to designate those appropriations as emergency spending, removing them from the budget caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25). On February 2, 2015, President Barack Obama sent to Congress a proposed FY2016 Department of Defense budget request of $585.3 billion in discretionary budget authority to fund both base budget programs and Overseas Contingency Operations. A small portion of that request, $8.4 billion (1.4%), was requested for military construction purposes. On April 21, 2015, the House Committee on Appropriations reported its markup of the annual appropriations bill. Table 1 displays the new budget authority for military construction and OCO construction that has been requested by the President and recommended by the House Committee on Appropriations. Table 1. FY2016 Military Construction Presidential Request and House Markup Dollars in thousands Appropriations Account Title I, Military Construction Military Construction, Army Military Construction, Navy and Marine Corps Military Construction, Air Force Military Construction, Defense-Wide Total, Active Components       FY2015 Enacted   FY2016 Request FY2016 House   528,427 743,245 663,245 1,018,772 1,669,239 1,349,678 811,774 1,991,690 4,350,663 1,389,185 2,300,767 6,102,436 1,237,055 1,931,456 5,181,434     Military Construction, Army National Guard Military Construction, Air National Guard Military Construction, Army Reserve Military Construction, Navy Reserve Military Construction, Air Force Reserve Total, Reserve Components Total, Military Construction     NATO Security Investment Program   Family Housing Construction, Army Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Army Family Housing Construction, Navy Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Navy and Marine Corps Family Housing Construction, Air Force Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Air Force Family Housing Construction, DefenseWide Family Housing Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide Family Housing Improvement Fund Total, Family Housing   Chemical Demilitarization Construction, Defense-Wide Department of Defense Base Closure Account   Administrative Provisions Military Construction, FY2014 (Section 127) Military Construction, FY2015 (Section 128) Military Construction, Army (Section 125) Military Construction, Navy and Marine Corps (Section 130) Defense Access Roads (Section 131) Military Construction, Air Force (Section 126) Military Construction, Defense-Wide (Section 127)     128,920 197,237 167,437 92,663 103,946 51,528 49,492 426,549 4,777,212 138,738 113,595 36,078 65,021 550,669 6,653,105 138,738 104,295 36,078 65,021 511,569 5,693,003 199,700     120,000     150,000 78,609 99,695 99,695 350,976 393,511 393,511 16,412 16,541 16,541 354,029 353,036 353,036 — 160,498 160,498 327,747 331,232 331,232 — — — 61,100 58,668 58,668 1662 1,190,535 — 1,413,181 — 1,413,181     38,715 — — 315,085 251,334 251,334             125,000 — — 117,000 — — -49,533 — -96,000 -25,522 — — — — 30,000 -41,392 — -52,600 — — -134,000 NATO Security Investment Program (Section 132) 42 U.S.C. 3374 (Section 128) Total, Administrative Provisions Appropriations Rescissions   Total, Title I, Department of Defense Appropriations Rescissions       Title IV, Overseas Contingency   Operations Military Construction, Navy and Marine Corps Military Construction, Air Force Military Construction, Defense-Wide European Reassurance Initiative Military Construction Total, Title IV     Grand Total, Department of Defense New Budget Authority -25,000 — — -63,800 36,753 (242,000) (-205,247) — — — — -103,918 -356,518 (30,000) (-181,271) 6,558,000 (6,763,247) (-205,247)     8,437,620 (8,437,620) —       7,151,000 (7,537,518) (-386,518)   — — 244,004 — 46,000 — — 75,000 212,996 175,000 — — 221,000 — 532,000 6,779,000   8,437,620   7,683,000 Source: Draft Full Appropriations Committee Report, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2016. Notes: Numbers in parentheses represent subtotals. Negative numbers represent rescissions. The President requested OCO construction as part of his regular, or "base," budget request. The House Committee on Appropriations placed that construction into Title IV of the draft appropriations bill and designated it as "emergency funding" under the 1985 act. Since the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947, the funding of military construction and military family housing has experienced significant fluctuations. As expressed in FY2016 dollars, the annual appropriation of new budget authority between FY1948 and FY2020 (including DOD projections) averages $12.7 billion (the median lies at $12.0 billion). The minimum appropriation during that period was $1.1 billion for FY1949, while the maximum of $34.3 billion was appropriated for FY2009, at the height of construction activity for the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) round. If appropriations during FY1951-FY1953 (Korean War) and FY2007-FY2011 (2005 BRAC round) are removed, the average military construction/family housing appropriation falls to $11.4 billion. The FY2016 request of $8.4 billion and projected requests through FY2020 fall well below that average. Figure 1 illustrates the flow of these appropriations. Figure 1. Military Construction New Budget Authority Appropriations, FY1948-FY2020 Constant FY2016 Dollars in Millions Source: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), National Defense Budget Estimates for FY2016, Table 6-8. Notes: All enacted war and supplemental funding is included.