mobile btn
Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Military construction bill to improve both VA and military bases signed into law

Credit: Rep. Martha McSally's office

An appropriations bill signed into law on Sept. 21 by President Donald Trump will increase funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through 2019 and fund military construction throughout the country.

For the VA, this represents a massive influx of funding at more than $86.5 billion, the largest annual dollar amount ever. For the rest of the military, it will fund 174 military construction projects both in the United States and abroad.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) praised the legislation for its support for critical housing, infrastructure, and facilities for U.S. military forces and their families, as well as increased funding for veterans’ health care and benefits.

“The vast majority of this funding will go toward improving medical care for our veterans, but it also will support things like speeding up claims processing for the 450,000 veterans who have been waiting for years to receive the benefits they’ve earned,” McSally said.

For veterans, this will take the form of $8.6 billion for mental health care services, $206 million for suicide prevention outreach, $400 million for opioid abuse prevention and $270 million for rural veterans’ health initiatives. For the active military, the bill also directs $15.23 billion to enhance the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons security programs, from weapons to reactors to nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Another $120 million is being put toward hardening U.S. energy infrastructure against cyber and other attacks.

McSally’s office also detailed how the appropriations bill will help rebuild Arizona’s military bases.

For Arizona’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the bill provides $15 million to replace an Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) facility that dates back to the Vietnam era. In addition, Luke Air Force Base will be provided with $40 million for two construction projects to ensure that F-35 fighter jet maintenance and operations can be completed in a safe environment.