Press Release

Highlights of the FY04 VA-HUD Appropriations Bill

By SpaceRef Editor
July 18, 2003
Filed under ,

FY03 Bill (Discretionary): $87.1 billion
FY04 President’s Request (Discretionary): $89.4 billion 
FY04 Bill (Discretionary): $90 billion 

Taking Care of Veterans:

  • Provides $27.2 in total budgetary resources for the Veterans Health Administration, a $1.4 billion increase over last year and approximately the President’s request. For first time the bill categorizes funding for medical care by providing separate appropriations for the various components of the Veterans Health Administration budget. The largest component, $15.8 billion, funds medical services for veterans with service connected health needs. The second largest component, $5.1 billion, is for VA’s medical administrative costs. The bill provides the following for the remainder of the Veteran’s Health Administration budget:
    • $4 billion for VA medical facilities; 
    • $1.9 billion for medical care for non-service connected veterans, offset by $1.5 billion from the Medical Care Collections Fund.
    • Provides $264 million for medical services for non-service connected veterans through fees proposed in the President’s budget.
    • Increases veterans medical and prosthetic research by $11million over FY03, bring FY04 funding to $408 million. 
  • Fully funds the Administration’s request to expedite claims processing at the Veterans Benefits Administration bringing total FY04 funding is $1 billion.
  • Fully funds the President’s request for the National Cemetery Administration, bringing FY04 funding to $144 million, $12 million above last year’s level. 
  • Fully funds the President’s request for Veterans State Extended Care Facilities bringing total funding to $102 million, $3 million above last year’s level. 

Investing in Science and Technology Research:

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) is increased $329 million over last year’s level and $158 million over the budget request, bringing FY04 funding to $5.6 billion, the largest NSF budget ever. Funding includes: $4.3 billion for research; $192 million for research equipment; and $904 million for education and human resources. 

Funding For Space Programs:

  • NASA funding is increased by $201 million over FY03 and $71 million over the President’s request, bringing FY04 funding to $15.5 billion. 
  • The committee deferred action on funding for the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle program, the Orbital Space Plane program, or the Next Generation Launch Technology until the work of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board work is published and discussed. The Committee will use the report of the Board, and NASA’s proposed response to the Board’s findings and recommendations, as the basis for final action on the fiscal year 2004 budget proposal. 

Protecting the Environment:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is funded with an emphasis on state grants, particularly in the areas of clean water and safe drinking water. 
  • Provides $8 billion for the EPA, $375 million above the President’s request and $74 million below FY03. 
  • Provides funding of $2.2 billion for Environmental Programs and Management, $95 million above last year’s level.
  • Increases Science and Technology by $52 million over FY03 and $36 million over the budget request.
  • The Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program is funded at approximately the President’s request and last year’s level of $73 million. 
  • Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds are funded at the budget request of $850 million.
  • Clean Water State Revolving Funds are funded at 1.2 billion, $350 million above the request.
  • Funds state environmental program grants at $1.2 billion, increasing air, water, and tribal grants by $37 million over FY03.
  • Funds Superfund at $1.3 billion, $10 million over FY03, with $39 million over FY03 for toxic site cleanup. 

Addressing Critical Housing Needs: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is funded at $37 billion, $942 million above last year’s levels and $98 million above the President’s request.

  • The Housing Certificate Fund is funded at $18.4 billion, a $1.3 billion increase over FY03, a 7% increase over last year. 
  • HOME Investments Partnerships is funded at $2.064 billion, $77 million over FY03, including a $25 million increase for HOME formula grants. Provides $125 million for the President’s Downpayment Assistance Initiative, 
  • Housing for the nation’s elderly (Section 202) is funded at $773 million the full amount requested.
  • Disabled Housing (Section 811) is funded at the requested level of $250 million.
  • Modernization for public housing is funded $2.7 billion, the same as last year’s level and $71 million above the request.
  • Public Housing Operating Subsidies are funded at $3.6 billion, $26 million above the request and $25 million above FY03.
  • Homeless programs are funded at $1.242 billion, including full funding to renew Shelter Plus Care contracts, $25 million above FY03. 
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) is funded at the President’s request of $297 million, $7 million above last year. 
  • The Native American Block Grant is funded at $661 million, $16 million above last year’s level and $15 million above the request. 
  • Includes $12.1 billion for Section 8 voucher renewals, $810 million more than FY03 and $205 million more than the request. This will fully fund all authorized vouchers based on a 96% lease up rate and the most current cost estimates. 

Other Items of Interest:

  • The bill for the first time since FY95 provides funds for the Corporation for National and Community Service in the Chairman’s Mark. The Corporation is funded at $480 million, $96 million above last year and $118 million below the President’s request. This funding level will be able to sustain 55,000 volunteers, an increase of 5,000 last year. 
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission is funded at $60 million, the same as the President’s request and $3 million above last year’s level.
  • American Battle Monuments Commission is provided $15 million toward the construction of an interpretive center at the American Cemetery at Normandy.

SpaceRef staff editor.