The House Appropriations Committee released a $71.5 billion bill on Wednesday for Fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs programs. The bill would house, train, and equip military personnel and their families, according to an April 2 committee release. “Our No. 1 priority with this bill is to ensure that our troops and veterans receive the resources they need and deserve. This legislation will do just that,” said Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). The committee has also “made responsible decisions to reduce funding where it is no longer needed, to be more efficient with the people’s money, and to save tax dollars where we can,” he said. The bill, which is $1.8 billion below Fiscal 2014 levels, reduces funding for military construction projects by $3.3 billion from enacted Fiscal 2014 levels. However, it increases funds for veterans programs by $1.5 billion, states the release. “These are tough budgetary times, but providing for our men and women in uniform is a duty that we simply cannot neglect,” said Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), chairman of the military construction and veterans affairs subcommittee.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.