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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 22, 2014.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 - Title I: Department of Defense - Appropriates funds for FY2015 for the Department of Defense (DOD) for: (1) military construction for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, and Air Force (military departments), DOD, the Army and Air National Guard, and the Army, Navy, and Air Force reserves; (2) the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Security Investment Program; (3) family housing construction and related operation and maintenance for the military departments and DOD; (4) the Department of Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund; (5) chemical demilitarization construction; and (6) the Department of Defense Base Closure Account.
Specifies restrictions and authorizations regarding the use of funds appropriated in this title and in other military construction appropriations Acts.
(Sec. 110) Prohibits appropriated funds from being used to initiate a new installation overseas without prior notification to the congressional appropriations committees.
(Sec. 113) Directs the Secretary of Defense (Secretary) to notify the appropriate congressional committees 30 days in advance of the plans and scope of any proposed military exercise involving U.S. personnel if construction costs are anticipated to exceed $100,000.
(Sec. 114) Prohibits more than 20% of the funds made available in this title which are limited for obligation during the current fiscal year from being obligated during the last two months of the fiscal year.
(Sec. 120) Authorizes the transfer of amounts from certain Department of Defense Base Closure Accounts for expenses associated with the Homeowners Assistance Program under the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966.
(Sec. 123) Places specified restrictions and limitations on the obligation or expenditure of funds made available in this title or in any other military construction appropriations Act to carry out a military construction, land acquisition, or family housing project at or for a military installation approved for closure, or to support a function that has been approved for realignment to another installation, in 2005 under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990.
(Sec. 124) Provides for the transfer of lapsed unobligated military construction and family housing funds into the Foreign Currency Fluctuations, Construction, Defense account.
(Sec. 126) Prohibits DOD military construction funds from being used for the planning, design, and construction of projects at Arlington National Cemetery.
(Sec. 129) Rescinds specified funds under prior appropriations Acts for: (1) military construction, (2) family housing construction for the Army, (3) the NATO Security Investment Program, and (4) the DOD Homeowners Assistance Program. Excludes from such rescissions any appropriations designated for overseas contingency operations/global war on terrorism or as an emergency requirement.
Title II: Department of Veterans Affairs - Provides appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for: (1) the Veterans Benefits Administration; (2) the Veterans Health Administration (VHA); (3) the National Cemetery Administration; and (4) Departmental Administration, including for the Board of Veterans Appeals, the Office of Inspector General, major and minor construction projects and grants for the construction of state extended care facilities and veterans cemeteries.
Specifies restrictions and authorizations regarding the use of funds appropriated in this title.
(Sec. 210) Makes funds from this title available to reimburse expenses of the Office of Resolution Management and the Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication, within specified limits.
(Sec. 216) Authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary, for purposes of this title) to enter into agreements with certain Indian tribes and tribal organizations in rural Alaska to provide health care, including behavioral health and dental care.
(Sec. 219) Directs the Secretary to report quarterly to the appropriations committees on the financial status of the VHA.
(Sec. 223) Allows certain VA funds to be transferred to the Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund and used for the operation of combined federal medical facilities.
(Sec. 228) Directs the Secretary to notify the appropriations committees on all bid savings in major construction projects that total at least $5 million or 5% of the programmed amount, whichever is less.
(Sec. 230) Directs the Secretary to submit a quarterly report to the appropriations committees that contains specified information concerning veterans' disability compensation claims, including the number pending, the timeliness of their completion, and error rates.
(Sec. 231) Allows a specified maximum amount of funds to be obligated from the VA's Medical Services and Medical Support and Compliance accounts for the VistA Evolution and electronic health record interoperability projects. Requires the Secretary to notify the appropriations committees before obligating any additional funds for such projects.
(Sec. 232) Directs the Secretary to notify the appropriations committees 15 days before organizational changes that result in the transfer of 25 or more full-time equivalent staff from one organizational unit to another.
(Sec. 233) Directs the Secretary to notify the appropriations committees quarterly concerning any single national outreach and awareness marketing campaign in which obligations exceed $2 million.
(Sec. 234) Prohibits federal funds from being used to close VA hospitals, domiciliaries, or clinics, conduct an environmental assessment, or diminish health care services at existing VHA medical facilities located in Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23 as part of a planned realignment of VA services until the Secretary submits a specified report to the appropriations committees.
(Sec. 235) Prohibits the VA from using funds available in this or any other Act to replace the current system by which the VISNs select and contract for diabetes monitoring supplies and equipment.
(Sec. 236) Prohibits the VA from using funds available in this or any other Act to provide bonuses to Medical Directors, Assistance Medical Directors, or Senior Executive Service employees of the VHA until: (1) the VA Inspector General conducts an audit of scheduling practices and procedures at VA medical centers across all VISNs, (2) a report on the audit is submitted to Congress, and (3) the Secretary provides Congress with a plan to address the audit's findings and recommendations.
(Sec. 237) Requires at least $35 million of the funds available to the VA for medical services to be available to provide contract care for veterans in rural and highly rural areas.
(Sec. 238) Directs the VA Medical Inspector to report to Congress, 30 days after this Act's enactment and at least every 180 days thereafter, on the VHA's programs and activities. Requires that report to be made available to the public.
(Sec. 239) Requires a portion of the VA's appropriations for medical facilities for FY2015 to be transferred to provide veterans in the catchment area of specified health facilities or proposed health facilities with health care that is at least equivalent to the care provided by VA community-based outpatient clinics.
Transfers unobligated balances of such appropriations back to the VA's medical facilities account when the Secretary enters into a major medical facility lease for such a facility. Sets the amount of such transfer at the amount specifically authorized by law for the major medical facility lease.
(Sec. 240) Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) remove any individual from the VA's Senior Executive Service if the Secretary determines that the individual's performance warrants such removal, and (2) remove such individual from the civil service or appoint the individual to a General Schedule position at any grade the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
Title III: Related Agencies - Appropriates funds for: (1) the American Battle Monuments Commission, (2) the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, (3) cemeterial expenses, and (4) the Armed Forces Retirement Home.
Title IV: General Provisions - Specifies restrictions and authorities regarding the use of funds appropriated in this Act.
(Sec. 409) Prohibits this Act's funds from being used for:
maintaining or establishing a computer network unless such network blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of pornography; constructing, renovating, or expanding any facility in the United States or its territories or possessions in order to house any non-U.S. citizen detained on or after June 24, 2009, at U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; paying for the attendance of more than 50 federal employees stationed within the United States at any single conference outside the United States, unless the relevant Secretary reports in advance to the appropriations committees that such attendance is important to the national interest; and travel and conference activities not in compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum M-12-12. (Sec. 412) Requires executive branch officials to: (1) submit annual reports to their Inspectors General or senior ethics officials on conferences held in FY2015 that cost the government more than $100,000; and (2) notify their Inspectors General or senior ethics officials of the date, location, and number or employees attending a conference costing the government more than $20,000 within 15 days of the date of such conference.