Appropriations for FY2004: Military Construction
CRS Report for Congress
Appropriations for FY2004:
Updated November 6, 2003
Daniel H. Else
Analyst in National Defense
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget
resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and
budget reconciliation bills. The process begins with the President’s budget request and is
bound by the rules of the House and Senate, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment
Control Act of 1974 (as amended), the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, and current
This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress considers
each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate
Defense Appropriations Subcommittees. It summarizes the current legislative status of the
bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report lists
the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
This report is updated as soon as possible after major legislative developments, especially
following legislative action in the committees and on the floor of the House and Senate.
NOTE: A Web version of this document with active links is
available to congressional staff at:
[http://www.crs.gov/ products / a ppropri ati ons/ apppage.shtml].
Appropriations for FY2004:
The military construction (MilCon) appropriations bill provides funding for (1)
military construction projects in the United States and overseas; (2) military family
housing operations and construction; (3) U.S. contributions to the NATO Security
Investment Program; and (4) the bulk of base realignment and closure (BRAC)costs.
The President forwarded his fiscal year 2004 budget request to the Congress on
February 3, 2003. The original military construction request of $9.0 billion was later
increased to $9.2 billion due to reprogramming from the defense appropriations bill
(H.R. 2658) and an Administration request related to foreign currency fluctuations
as calculated by the Congressional Budget Office.
On June 17, 2003, the House Appropriations Committee reported a bill (H.R.
2559) that recommends $9.2 billion in military construction appropriations. This is
$41 million below the President’s revised request and $1.5 billion below the FY2003
appropriation. The House passed the bill on June 26. The Senate Appropriations
Committee marked up an original version of the bill (S. 1357) and reported it to the
Senate on June 26. On July 10, the Senate began consideration of H.R. 2559,
substituting the text of S. 1357, and passed the amended bill on July 11. The
conference committee reported its bill on November 4, 2003.
Authorization of military construction is included within the defense
authorization bill. The House passed its version of the bill (H.R. 1588) on May 22.
The Senate substituted the text of S. 1050 for that of H.R. 1588 and passed the
amended bill on June 4, 2003. The conference committee began meeting on July 22
and had not reported its bill as of this writing. For a comprehensive report on
defense authorization legislation, see CRS Report RL31805, Authorization and
Appropriations for FY2004: Defense, by Amy Belasco and Stephen Daggett.
In late September, the President submitted to Congress an emergency
supplemental appropriations request for Fiscal Year 2004 (H.R. 3289) that included
$412 million in funding specific to military construction and unlimited authority to
transfer unspecified additional funds from the Iraqi Freedom Fund ($1.99 billion) to
military construction and up to $500 million from other Department of Defense funds
into a contingency construction account. The bill was passed by both chambers and
was presented to the President on November 5. For more information on the
supplemental, see CRS Report RL32090, FY2004 Supplemental Appropriations for
Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terrorism: Military Operations &
Reconstruction Assistance, by Stephen Daggett, Larry Nowels, Curt Tarnoff, and
Key Policy Staff
Area of ExpertiseNameDivisionand E-Mail
Base ClosureDavid LockwoodFDT*7-7621
Defense AcquisitionValerie GrassoFDT7-7617
vgr asso@c rs.loc.gov
Def. Budget, Mil. Con./Daniel H. ElseFDT7-4996
Defense BudgetAmy BelascoFDT7-7627
Defense ReformGary PaglianoFDT7-1750
Guard and Reserve IssuesLawrence KappFDT7-7609
* FDT = Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research
Most Recent Developments..........................................1
Content of Annual Military Construction Appropriations
and Defense Authorization Bills..............................1
House Appropriations Action................................4
Senate Appropriations Action................................5
Changes in Funding Request During the Legislative Process............5
Fiscal Year 2004 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Request......6
Iraqi Freedom Fund........................................7
Senate Emergency Supplemental Appropriation (S. 1689)..........8
House Emergency Supplemental Appropriation (H.R. 3289)........9
Key Policy Issues.................................................10
Overall Funding Levels....................................10
Realignment of Overseas Bases..............................10
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).......................13
The Efficient Facilities Initiative (EFI)........................13
The Brooks Air Force Base Development Demonstration Project...14
Perchlorate Groundwater Contamination Remediation............14
Major Funding Trends.............................................15
Military Construction Appropriations.............................16
For Additional Information.........................................21
Selected World Wide Web Sites.................................21
List of Figures
Figure 1. Military Construction Funding............................16
List of Tables
Table 1. Status of Military Construction Appropriations, FY2004............4
Table 2. Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for FY2004.............10
Table 4. Military Construction Appropriations by Account: FY2003-FY2004..18
Account; Congressional Action..................................19
Table 6. Congressional Additions to Annual DOD Budget
Requests for National Guard and Reserve Military Construction,
Appropriations for FY2004:
Most Recent Developments
The House Appropriations Committee introduced its Military Construction
Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 (H.R. 2559, H.Rept. 108-173) on June
The Senate Appropriations Committee introduced its companion bill (S. 1357,
S.Rept. 108-82) on June 26. On July 10, the Senate amended H.R. 2559 by striking
the text and substituting that of S. 1357. The Senate passed the amended bill on July
11 (91-0) and requested a conference with the House. On September 16, the House
disagreed with the Senate amendment (motion to do so was carried without
objection) and appointed conferees. The conference report was completed on
November 4, 2003, and was passed by the House on November 5 (417-5). The
message on House action is being held at the desk in the Senate.
In late September, the President submitted an emergency supplemental
appropriations request. While the Senate considered its version of the bill (S. 1689),
the House passed its bill (H.R. 3289) on October 17, 2003 (303-125). The Senate
substituted the text of S. 1689 for that of H.R. 3289, passed the amended bill by
unanimous consent, and sent notice of its action to the House. The conference report
(H.Rept. 108-337) was filed on October 30. The House approved the report on
October 31 (298-121, Roll No. 601), and the Senate approved by voice vote on
November 3. The bill was presented to the President on November 5.
Conference action on the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2004 (H.R.
1588) began on July 22 and has not yet concluded. The House voted to instruct its
conferees on September 10 (406-0).
Content of Annual Military Construction Appropriations
and Defense Authorization Bills
The Department of Defense (DOD) manages the world’s largest dedicated
infrastructure, covering more than 40,000 square miles of land and a physical plant
worth more than $500 billion. The military construction appropriations bill provides
a large part of the funding to enhance and maintain this infrastructure. The bill funds
construction projects and some of the facility sustainment, restoration and
modernization of the active Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force, and their
reserve components;1 additional defense-wide construction; U.S. contributions to the
NATO Security Investment Program (formerly known as the NATO Infrastructure
Program);2 and military family housing operations and construction. The bill also
provides funding for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) account, which
finances most base realignment and closure costs, including construction of new
facilities for transferred personnel and functions and environmental cleanup at
The military construction appropriations bill is one of several annual pieces of
legislation that provide funding for national defense. Other major appropriation
legislation includes the defense appropriations bill, which provides funds for all non-
construction military activities of the Department of Defense and constitutes more
than 90% of national security-related spending, and the energy and water
development appropriations bill, which provides funding for atomic energy defense
activities of the Department of Energy and for civil projects carried out by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers. Two other appropriations bills, VA-HUD-Independent
Agencies and Commerce-Justice-State, also include small amounts for national
No funds may be expended by any agency of the federal government before they
are appropriated.5 In addition, for nearly half a century Congress has forbidden the
Department of Defense to obligate funds for any project or program until specific
authorization is granted.6 This explains why, for defense funds, both authorization
and appropriations bills are required. Two separate defense appropriations bills are
written annually, a “Military Construction Appropriations Act” dedicated to military
construction, and a “National Defense Appropriations Act” covering all other defense
1 Facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization (SRM) includes the repair and
maintenance of buildings, structures, warehouses, roadways, runways, aprons, railway
tracks, utility plants, and their associated distribution systems, plus minor construction (cost
not to exceed $500 thousand) to create new facilities or expand, alter, or convert existing
facilities. A large part of the funding dedicated to the SRM function is requested not as part
of the military construction appropriation, but rather as part of the Operations and
Maintenance account within the annual defense appropriation.
2 The NATO Security Investment program is the U.S. contribution to Alliance funds for the
construction of facilities and the procurement of equipment essential to the wartime support
of operational forces in the common defense of the NATO area. Facilities funded by this
program include airfields, naval bases, signal and telecom installations, pipelines, war
headquarters, as well as early warning radar and missile installations. The U.S. contributes
approximately 25% of the total annual NSIP assessment, with the rest coming from the other
members of the North Atlantic Alliance.
3 Virtually all costs associated with the latest completed BRAC round (that of FY1995) have
been funded. The bulk of current BRAC appropriations (before the next round commences
in FY2005) will be dedicated to environmental remediation of closed military installations.
4 See CRS Report RL31005, Appropriations and Authorization for FY2002: Defense, by
Amy Belasco, Mary Tyszkiewicz, and Stephen Daggett, for details on the defense
authorization and appropriation process.
5 Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution.
6 See 10 USC 114.
appropriations.7 Normally only one “National Defense Authorization Act” is passed
each year to authorize both of these appropriations.8 Therefore, major debates over
defense policy and funding issues, including military construction, can be associated
with any of these bills. Because issues in the defense authorization and appropriations
bills intertwine, this report includes salient parts of the authorization bill in its
discussion of the military construction appropriation process.
The separate military construction appropriations bill dates to the late 1950s.
Traditionally, military construction was funded through annual defense or
supplemental appropriations bills. However, the Korean War prompted a surge of
military construction, followed by a steady increase in military construction
appropriations. Given the strong and enduring security threat posed by the Soviet
Union, a relatively high level of spending on military infrastructure appeared likely
to continue. The appropriations committees established military construction
subcommittees and created a separate military construction bill. The first stand-alone
military construction bill was written for FY1959 (P.L. 85-852).
Military construction appropriations are not the sole source of funds available
to defense agencies for facility investment. The defense appropriations bill funds so-
called minor construction and property maintenance within its operations and
maintenance accounts. In addition, construction and maintenance of Morale, Welfare,
and Recreation-related facilities are partially funded through proceeds of
commissaries, recreation user fees, and other non-appropriated income.
Several special accounts are included within the military construction
appropriation. Among these are the Homeowners Assistance Fund (Defense),9 and
7 The relevant subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are
Military Construction (for the military construction appropriation) and Defense (for the
national defense appropriation).
8 The Subcommittee on Readiness in the House Armed Services Committee and the
Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support in the Senate Armed Services
Committee draft legislation to authorize military construction appropriations.
9 The Homeowners Assistance Fund (Defense) was established by the Demonstration Cities
and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 (42 USC 3374). It authorizes the Secretary of
Defense to acquire the title to, or to reimburse for certain losses upon the sale of, one- and
two-family homes owned by federal employees located at or near military installations
ordered closed in whole or in part.
the Department of Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund,10 both of which
perform functions ancillary to the direct building of military infrastructure.
Most funds appropriated by Congress each year must be obligated in that fiscal
year. Military construction appropriations, though, are an exception. Because of the
long-term nature of construction projects, these funds can generally be obligated for
up to five fiscal years.
Consideration of the military construction budget begins when the President’s
budget is delivered to Congress each year, usually in early February. This year, the
President submitted his FY2004 budget request to the Congress on February 3, 2003.
Table 1 shows the key legislative steps necessary for the enactment of the
FY2004 military construction appropriations. It will be updated as the appropriation
process moves forward.
Table 1. Status of Military Construction Appropriations, FY2004
Committee MarkupHouseHouseSenateSenateConf.Conference ReportApprovalPublic
Report P a ssa ge Report P a ssa ge Report La w
House Senate House Senate
06/17/0306/26/03 H.Rept.108-17306/26/03(428-0)S.Rept.108-82 07/11/03(91-0) H.Rept.108-342– – – – – –
Notes: Dashes indicate no action yet taken.
House Appropriations Action. Following a series of hearings by the House
Subcommittee on Military Appropriations, the full Committee marked up its bill on
June 17. H.R. 2559 (H.Rept. 108-173) was introduced to the House on June 23,
10 10 USC 2883 (Department of Defense Housing Funds) is part of subchapter IV
(Alternative Authority for Acquisition and Improvement of Military Housing) of the basic
law governing the armed forces. It establishes two independent funds: the Department of
Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund and the Department of Defense Military
Unaccompanied Housing Improvement Fund (unaccompanied members of the military are
either unmarried or are married but separated geographically from their families). The funds
are sustained by direct appropriation, fund transfers made by the Secretary of Defense or the
Secretary of the Navy from other accounts, proceeds from certain title conveyances or the
lease of federal military family housing property, or other financial activity associated with
either military family or unaccompanied housing. These funds may be used for the
planning, construction, or improvement of military housing as provided for under this
particular subchapter of Title 10.
the bill under the provisions of a Special Rule (H.Res. 298) on June 26, 2003
(Congressional Record, H5979-5990). The measure passed by the Yeas and Nays:
The bill was received in the Senate the same day and placed on the Legislative
Calendar under General Orders (Calendar No. 177).
Senate Appropriations Action. The Senate Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Military Construction held hearings on its bill during March and
April of 2003. The full Committee reported legislation (S. 1357, S.Rept. 108-82) to
the Senate on June 26. The bill was placed on the Legislative Calendar under General
Orders (Calendar No. 176).
On July 10, the Senate began consideration of H.R. 2559, striking all after the
enacting clause and substituting the text of S. 1357. The Senate passed the bill on
July 11 (91-0), insisted on its amendment, and requested a conference with the
Conference Action. On September 16, 2003, the House disagreed with the
Senate amendment, agreed to a conference, and appointed conferees (Congressional
Record, H8228). By the end of their meeting on October 22, the conferees had not
agreed on a final report. Difference between House and Senate managers appeared
to center on allocations of funding for construction projects in Europe and in the
Republic of Korea, where the President had requested $292 million, but where the
future of many installations remains in doubt (See Realignment of Overseas Bases,
below). The conferees agreed on their bill on November 4. The House approved the
report on November 5 (417-5, Roll No. 606), and the message on House action is
being held at the desk in the Senate.
Changes in Funding Request During the Legislative Process
The President’s original budget submission for military construction totaled
This was amended upward by the House Appropriations Committee to
$9,237,096,000 because of transfers from the defense appropriations bill11 to the
military construction appropriations bill and calculations performed by the
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) pursuant to an Administration request for a
general provision of funding related to the “Foreign Currency Fluctuations,
Construction, Defense” account. The funding transfers included $25,500,000 for the
purpose of constructing a Special Operations Forces facility and $119,815,000 for
chemical demilitarization construction. The CBO calculation resulted in a re-
appropriation of $55 million.
11 Rep. Jerry Lewis introduced the Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2658, H.Rept. 108-
The Senate Appropriations Committee similarly amended the President’s budget
submission, including the transfer of funds for the Special Operations Forces facility
and the CBO calculation. It did not include the transfer of chemical demilitarization
construction funds from the defense appropriations bill, as had been done in the
House version of the bill.12 Therefore, the Senate version of the budget submission
is quoted as $9,117,281,000.13
Fiscal Year 2004 Emergency Supplemental
On September 21, 2003, the President forwarded to Congress his request for an14
emergency, non-offset supplemental appropriations for FY2004. The House and
Senate versions of the bill are H.R. 3289 and S. 1689.
The Department of Defense requested $65.6 billion of the overall supplemental
appropriations. Its stated purpose is to support three ongoing military operations:
Operation Iraqi Freedom ($51.5 million), Operation Enduring Freedom ($10.5
million), and Operation Noble Eagle ($2.2 million). Also, $1.4 million was identified
as supporting coalition forces.
Of this total, $412.5 million is designated for domestic and overseas
construction supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
About $119.9 million is to be committed to the Army, and $292.6 million is destined
for the Air Force. The anticipated use of these funds is laid out in Table 2. Not
included in the military construction portion of the request is additional funding for
beddown facilities for approximately 25,000 soldiers. Consisting of trailers and
containers equipped with housing and shower facilities, these accommodations are
to be drawn from the Army Operation and Maintenance ($21.2 billion total) and
Other Procurement ($930.7 million) supplemental appropriations requests. Table 3
compares presidential account requests with recommendations made by the House
and Senate Committees on Appropriations.
The request also includes authorization to transfer significant funding into
construction from other accounts.
12 Presidential budget submissions for the demilitarization of chemical munitions had usually
been divided between the defense and military construction appropriations because both
construction and operations are involved in the process. For FY2004, the Department of
Defense folded both components into the much larger defense appropriations request,
apparently to be able to shift funds into and out of construction without having to request
transfer authority from the Congress.
13 FY2004 request amounts shown in the tables of this report are taken from the House
version of the President’s budget submission.
14 See CRS Report RL32090, FY2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq, Afghanistan,
and the Global War on Terrorism: Military Operations & Reconstruction Assistance, by
Stephen Daggett, Larry Nowels, Curt Tarnoff, and Rhoda Margesson, for a comprehensive
discussion of the entire emergency supplemental appropriations bill.
Iraqi Freedom Fund. The Operations and Maintenance section requests $1.99
billion for an Iraqi Freedom Fund (IFF). The IFF is a transfer account, or an account
that is not dedicated to any specific purpose. Rather, it can be considered a “holding
pot” for funds that may be transferred to other accounts at the discretion of the
Secretary of Defense. The request justifies the creation of a transfer account by noting
“the unpredictable scope, duration, and intensity” of ongoing military operations in
Iraq and Afghanistan. This provision is contained in the enacted law.
According to the language of the legislation, authority to transfer the funds in
the IFF is to be granted to the Secretary of Defense and is in addition to any other
existing transfer authority. Funds may be transferred from the IFF to military
personnel, operation and maintenance, Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster Assistance
and Civic Aid, procurement, military construction, Defense Health Program, and
working capital appropriations accounts. Any funds deemed to be in excess after
transfer to a regular appropriations account may be returned to the IFF for subsequent
retransfer. The request specifies that the Secretary of Defense will notify the
congressional defense committees not less than five (5) days in advance of any
transfer and will summarize the details of IFF transfers not later than 30 days after
the end of each fiscal quarter.
Contingency Construction. Under Chapter 8 (General Provisions), the
Secretary of Defense asked for the authority to transfer up to $500 million of the
supplemental appropriations into a contingency construction account. This proposal
did not survive, but Section 1301 of the enacted bill provided temporary authority for
the use of up to $150 million of operations and maintenance funds for similar
purposes (see below).
Contingency construction, as established by 10 USC 2804, permits the Secretary
of Defense (or the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, or Air Force) to carry out any
military construction project not otherwise authorized if the Secretary determines that
its deferral to the next Military Construction Appropriations Act would be
inconsistent with national security or the national interest.
Existing law specifies that when the Secretary decides that contingency
construction is appropriate, he must report this to the appropriate congressional
committees. The report must explain why the project is necessary (its justification),
and why it must be a contingency (instead of a regular) construction project. It must
also include an estimate of the project’s cost. Section 2804 also bars the Secretary
from carrying out the project until after the end of a 21-day period that begins on the
date his notification is received by the committees.
The Supplemental Appropriations request would have permitted the transfer of
DOD funds into the contingency construction account seven (7) days after
notification was sent to the appropriate congressional committees by the Secretary
of Defense. This notification would have certified “that the transfer is necessary to
respond to, or protect against, acts or threatened acts of terrorism or to support
Department of Defense operations in Iraq, and [specify] the amounts and purposes
of the transfer, including a list of proposed projects and their estimated costs.”
The recommendation further specified that, notwithstanding the 21-day waiting
period required under Title 10, the Secretary of Defense “shall notify the appropriate
committees of Congress no later than 15 days after the obligation of the funds for the
project, specifying the estimated cost of the project” and including the standard DOD
Form 1391 (Military Construction Program).15 This would have eliminated the
requirement to explain the need for a contingency, vice regular, construction project.
Normally, military construction is carried out only on a military installation,
which is defined as real property (land, building, or structure) under the operational
control of the Secretary of a military department or the Secretary of Defense. For the
purposes of this contingency construction account, the recommended language
expands this definition to also include “any building, structure, or other improvement
to real property to be used by the Armed Forces, regardless of whether such use is
anticipated to be temporary or of longer duration.”
Section 1301 of the enacted legislation authorized the Secretary of Defense to
obligate operations and maintenance funds during Fiscal Year 2004 for construction
projects outside the United States when they: are necessary to meet urgent military
operational requirements of a temporary nature; on a military installation where the
United States will not have a long-term presence; where the United States has no
intention of using the construction after the operational requirement has been
satisfied; and the level of construction is the minimum necessary to meet the
The Act requires the Secretary to notify the congressional defense committees
within 15 days of the obligation of funds for any project, and to submit a report on
all projects within 30 days of the end of each fiscal-year quarter. The section specifies
that only this temporary authority and the limited authority of 10 USC 2805(c)
(Unspecified Minor Construction) permit the Secretary of Defense to use
appropriated operations and maintenance funds for construction.
Senate Emergency Supplemental Appropriation (S. 1689). Senator
Stevens introduced S. 1689 to the Senate without report on September 30, 2003, and
the bill was placed on the Legislative Calendar under General Orders (Calendar No.
S12220-12270). After debate and amendment, it was again taken up on October 2
(Congressional Record, S12311-12346, S12350-12360) and on October 3
(Congressional Record, S12424-12432). The Committee on Appropriations filed its
report on the bill (S.Rept. 108-160) on October 2.
The Committee recommended emergency military construction appropriations
equal to the President’s request, totaling $119.9 million to the Military Construction,
15 A Form 1391 is prepared for each regular construction project requested by the
Department of Defense and included in the detailed justification materials submitted
annually to Congress. It names, numbers, and describes the project, gives its location, lists
the estimated costs of its components, explains the requirement, reports the current situation,
and assesses the impact if the project is not approved.
Army (emergency) account and $292.6 million to the Military Construction, Air
Force (emergency) account, for a total of $412.5 million.
Section 315 of the Senate bill authorizes the Secretary of Defense to transfer up
to $150 million into a contingency construction fund, instead of the $500 million
requested. It retains the requested expedited 21-day waiting period between initial
notification and obligation of funds.
On October 17, the Senate substituted the language of S. 1689 into H.R. 3289.
Further discussion of the bill proceeds under that number.
House Emergency Supplemental Appropriation (H.R. 3289). The
House Committee on Appropriations marked up its version of the Emergency
Supplemental Appropriation on October 9, 2003, recommending $544.6 million for
military construction and family housing accounts. The Senate and House
recommendations differ primarily in funding dedicated to the reconstruction of
military facilities and housing due to damage incurred in North Carolina and Virginia
by Hurricane Isabel during mid-September 2003.
Section 1201 of the House bill allows the Secretary of Defense to use up to $500
million in operations and maintenance funds during FY2004 for construction projects
outside the United States and levies a quarterly reporting requirement on the
obligation and expenditure of these funds. This authority is not tied to the
contingency construction provisions of 10 USC 2804, but rather characterizes the use
of these funds as “unspecified minor construction” as authorized under 10 USC 2805.
Statute places cost caps on unspecified minor construction projects that do not exist
for contingency construction.
The House passed H.R. 3289 (303-125, Roll No. 562), as amended in floor
debate, and sent the measure to the Senate on October 17. That same day, the Senate
struck all after the Enacting Clause, substituted the language of S. 1689 amended,
and passed the bill by Unanimous Consent (CR S12822-12832; bill text, October 20
CR S12892-12905). The Senate insisted on its amendment and appointed conferees.
On October 21, the House disagreed with the Senate amendment by unanimous
consent and agreed to a conference, designating and instructing the conferees (CR
H9770-9775; text, CR H9770).
Conference Action. The conference was held on October 28, 2003. The
conference report was filed on October 30 (H.Rept. 108-337). The House considered
the report on October 30 (Congressional Record, H10139-10157) and October 31
(Congressional Record, H10215-10231). The bill passed on October 31 (298 - 121,
Roll No. 601). The Senate considered the report on November 3 (Congressional
Record, S13751-13784), agreeing by a voice vote. The bill was presented to the
President on November 5.
Table 2. Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for FY2004
Account Request House S en ate E nacted
MilCon, Air Force292,550292,550292,550292,550
Total: Military Construction412,450523,180412,450500,180
Family Housing Operation &)8,151)11,420
Family Housing Operation &)6,268)6,280
Debt, Navy & Marine Corps
Family Housing Operation &)6,971)6,981
Total: Family Housing021,390024,681
Total Emergency Supplemental412,450544,570412,450524,861
Sources: S.Rept. 108-160; H.Rept. 108-312; H.Rept. 108-337.
Key Policy Issues
Several issues regarding military construction have gained visibility during the
legislative deliberations of the current session of Congress. Among these are overall
funding levels, realignment of overseas bases, base realignment and closure (BRAC),
and perchlorate ground water contamination remediation.
Overall Funding Levels. The FY2004 budget submitted by the President on
February 3, 2003, as subsequently amended, requested $9.24 billion in new budget
authority, an amount $1.46 billion below the 2003 enactment. The Emergency
Supplemental Appropriations request submitted in late September would increase the
total request by $412 million and would authorize the transfer of unspecified
additional funds as they are needed.
Realignment of Overseas Bases. The Department of Defense has initiated
efforts in Germany and in the Republic of Korea to reduce the number and shift the
locations of its permanent installations. Known in Europe as Efficient Basing-East
and in Korea as the Land Partnership Plan, they are part of a worldwide DOD effort
to transform itself into a lighter and more agile military establishment.
As part of this endeavor, the Secretary of Defense has tasked his combatant
commanders to review military construction projects in order that they might support
changing military objectives overseas. These commanders are required to submit a
basing plan that enhances their abilities to project power, to support operations, and
to conduct activities based upon the Secretary’s views of a military structure
transformed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Based on the DOD study of
overseas basic requirements, the Administration in its amendment asked for the
deletion of 16 construction projects totaling $269 million that had been requested for
Germany and Turkey in its original FY2004 submission.
This DOD study is not yet complete, however, and the House Appropriations
Committee, in its report, expressed concerns that current and projected military
construction at overseas sites may not reflect a well-considered strategy. The
committee, noting that DOD has announced the retrenchment of some garrisons in
the Republic of Korea, recommended rescinding $107 million from prior year
appropriations at sites slated to be closed and re-appropriating them to installations
expected to remain in service.
The Senate Appropriations Committee strongly supported the DOD effort to
reevaluate its overseas basing requirements, though both appropriations committees
noted that a DOD overseas basing master plan, due on April 1, 2002, had not yet
been submitted. The Senate committee recognized that the DOD study of rebasing
had not progressed beyond its embryonic stage. In observing public statements
indicating that DOD would likely reduce the number of troops stationed in Germany
and would reconfigure its installations in Korea, it did not find much of the new
construction in Europe and Korea that had been requested in the May 1, 2003, budget
The Senate Committee recommended that an eight-member Commission on the
Review of the Overseas Military Facility Structure of the United States be formed to
assess whether current overseas basing is adequate and assess the feasibility of
various new configurations. Appointed by congressional leadership, the Commission
would provide an independent view of overseas basing requirements and would
submit its report, including findings, conclusions, recommendations for legislation
and administrative action, and a proposed overseas basing strategy, to the President
and Congress by August 30, 2004. The Committee also directed the Department of
Defense to submit master plans for changing the military infrastructure requirements
within each overseas regional command and report annually, through FY2008, on the
Notwithstanding congressional direction, the press has reported that the
Department of Defense and the military services have begun taking action to realign
force levels and the basing “footprint” at overseas locations.
On July 23, the Pacific Stars and Stripes, a newspaper written for military
members stationed throughout the Pacific area, announced that U.S. and Japanese
officials had entered into an agreement to return to Japanese control more than 700
acres of land near Yokosuka used by the American military.16 In return, the Japanese
government agreed to build 800 new residential housing units near the main
Yokosuka naval base.
16 According the the report, all of the Fukaya Communications Site, Tomioka Storage Area
and Negishi Dependent Housing Area and most of the Kamiseya Communications Station
will be returned at a future date not yet determined. See Joseph Giordono, “Japan Pledges
To Build 800 Residential Units Near Yokosuka,” Pacific Stars and Stripes, July 23, 2003.
In Europe, the press has reported that the U.S. European Command is
considering the closure of many of the military installations in Germany and the
return to the United States of many of the combat units now stationed there. New,
more austere, bases could be constructed to house lighter, smaller combat units sent
more to train than to garrison. Countries where these “bare-bones” bases might be
located include Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Algeria, and Morocco.17 A more recent
report in the press indicated that two of the Army divisions currently engaged in
operations in Iraq, the First Armored and the First Infantry Divisions, currently based
in Wiesbaden and Würzburg, Germany, could be permanently redeployed to the
United States when they are relieved of their present assignments.18
In the Republic of Korea during early June 2003, officials announced that U.S.
forces there would be realigned, with elements of the Second Infantry Division
currently based near the Demilitarized Zone between the Republic of Korea and the
Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea moving south, and the garrison at the
Yongsan Garrison in the capital city of Seoul beginning its relocation “as soon as
The conference report retained provisions for the establishment of a
Commission on Review of Overseas Military Facility Structure of the United States.
The Commission's structure and duties remained much as the Senate committee had
specified, though the Commission's report deadline was established as December 31,
The conferees also directed the Department of Defense to prepare
comprehensive master plans for overseas military bases that are to be submitted with
the Fiscal Year 2006 budget submission (the Senate had proposed submission with
the Fiscal Year 2005 budget), and specified that a status report on the comprehensive
plans and their implementation are to be submitted each year through Fiscal Year
2009, along with the military construction budget request. The conferees suggested
that they may extend this reporting requirement to include installations located within
the continental United States.
The conferees noted that movement of US military forces from their established
garrisons near the Demilitarized Zone in Korea to bases further south in the country
has been planned by the Department of Defense. Nevertheless, they noted that no
17 See Brian Whitmore, “US Looks East To Set Up New Europe Bases,” Boston Globe, July
18 See Amy Svitak and Vince Crawley, “Germany-Based Divisions May Move Stateside,”
Army Times, August 4, 2003, p. 14.
19 See Howard W. French, “Official Says U.S. Will Reposition Its Troops In South Korea.”
New York Times, June 3, 2003, Jeremy Kirk and Franklin Fisher, “Army: No Timetable For
S. Korea Move,” Pacific Stars and Stripes, June 10, 2003, and Seo Soo-min, “ROK, US
Agree on Fast-Track Force Realignment,” Korea Times, June 30, 2003. The U.S.
ambassador to the Republic of Korea has since cautioned that the redeployment of troops
from their current location in Seoul to their new positions will be slow, awaiting the funding
of necessary construction by the host nation and by the Congress. See Sim Sung-tae,
“Envoy: Redeploying Troops Takes Time,” Korea Herald, July 8, 2003.
master plan exists for the consolidation of these troops within Camp Humphreys, the
Department's stated goal. The conferees agreed to allow planning for construction at
Camp Humphreys to proceed, but construction itself may not commence until a
master facilities plan is developed and cost-sharing arrangements for the relocation
of US forces has been agreed with the government of the Republic of Korea.
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). Four BRAC rounds have been
completed since the first in 1989. A fifth round, expected to affect as many
installations as the previous four rounds combined, is scheduled to take effect in
Under statutory language included in the National Defense Authorization Act
for FY2002, the Secretary of Defense is required to publish by December 31, 2003,
an initial list of the criteria he will use to recommend base closure and realignment
actions. The Secretary’s force structure plan, a comprehensive base inventory, and
certification that the BRAC round is needed are to be included with the presidential
submission of his FY2005 budget in early February 2004. Congress will have the
opportunity to disapprove the Secretary’s selection criteria during early 2004. The20
final presidential list of BRAC actions is due to the Congress on November 7, 2005.
The Efficient Facilities Initiative (EFI). Some press reports have referred
to the FY2005 BRAC round as the “Efficient Facilities Initiative.” This substitution
is inaccurate and has led to some confusion. In fact, BRAC and Efficient Facilities
Initiative are defined in statute and refer to two different processes.
The original Efficient Facilities Initiative (EFI) was a new approach to reducing
and managing DOD real property holdings and was intended to substitute for a repeat
BRAC round. The EFI was intended to encompass all military installations, both
domestic and overseas, and would have instituted a different method of administering
many of the surviving bases.
The EFI was publicly announced by the Department of Defense on August 2,
2001, and the Department’s General Counsel submitted proposed legislation to
Congress on August 3. It included three major actions: the potential realignment and
closure of U.S. military installations overseas; the potential realignment and closure
of installations within the United States during FY2003; and the permanent
authorization of the Brooks Air Force Base Development Demonstration Project,
expanded to include all military services. The language as proposed was not adopted
Instead, Congress incorporated some aspects of the EFI into the National
Defense Authorization Act for FY2002.21 Because military bases on foreign territory
are established by agreement between governments, no legislation was needed to
begin the process of overseas bases. Congress ignored that portion of the EFI.
20 For a comprehensive review of the BRAC process, see CRS Report RL30440, Military
Base Closures: Estimates of Costs and Savings, by David E. Lockwood, and CRS Report
RL30051, Military Base Closures: Agreement on a 2005 Round, by David E. Lockwood.
21 S. 1438 (P.L. 107-107). H.Rept. 107-333 is the bill’s conference report.
Instead of approving the Secretary’s suggested process for review of domestic bases
and establishment of a permanent Department-wide Brooks-like base management
system, Congress created the FY2005 BRAC round in Title XXX of the Act and
authorized DOD to carry out a “Pilot Efficient Facilities Initiative” for a maximum
of four years at up to two military installations of each military department (Army,
Navy, and Air Force). These pilot initiatives were to be modeled on the Brooks Air
Force Base Development Demonstration Project in San Antonio, Texas.
The Brooks Air Force Base Development Demonstration Project.
The Brooks Air Force Base Development Demonstration Project (also known as the
“Base Efficiency Project” or the “Brooks City-Base Project”) is a partnership
between the Secretary of the Air Force and the City of San Antonio, Texas, and
represents an alternative to traditional base closings or realignments.
Usually, military reservations are federal land jurisdictionally independent of the
surrounding communities and governed by the base commander. Congress authorized
the Secretary to “convert any military or civil service appropriated or non-
appropriated fund activity at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, into a contracted activity
or an exchange of services compensated for by the lease, sale, conveyance, or transfer
of real or private property.”22 This empowered the Secretary to transfer title, in
exchange for appropriate compensation, of the whole of federal real property at
Brooks to the city and to lease back for military use those parts that directly support
the base’s military mission.23 The base is then no longer federal property. The cost
of maintaining and operating the facility’s physical plant, including fire and police
protection, upkeep, and the like, is effectively transferred along with ownership from
the Department of Defense to the local community. Funds generated from the lease
or sale of property, reimbursements, and so on, is placed in a special Project Fund,
which the Secretary of the Air Force may employ for operations, leaseback,
maintenance and repair of Department facilities, and other uses.24
This has taken place at Brooks, and one aim of the EFI was to make the same
management tools available permanently to all service secretaries for use where they
considered appropriate. But Congress granted this authority only as a pilot project of
limited scope and duration. To date, the Department of Defense has not selected
Perchlorate Groundwater Contamination Remediation. The Senate
Appropriations Committee included language in its report requiring the Department
of Defense to report not later than March 30, 2004, on the activities of the
Interagency Perchlorate Steering Committee of the Department of Defense. The
Steering Committee was established in January 1998 to facilitate the flow of
22 Defense Appropriation Act for FY2000 (P.L. 106-79) and Military Construction
Appropriations Act for FY2001 (P.L. 106-246).
23 This is often referred to as “sell and lease back.”
24 More information on the Brooks City-Base Project is available online at
[ ht t p: / / www.ci .sat .t x.us/ e dd/ br ooks/ ] .
information between defense agencies on technological issues related to perchlorate
contamination of drinking water supplies and irrigation water supplies.
The report of the House Appropriations Committee on the defense
appropriations bill (H.R. 2658, H.Rept. 108-187) also addressed perchlorate
groundwater contamination. That Committee directed the Department of Defense to
conduct a joint study with the Environmental Protection Agency on perchlorate
contamination of water supplies in southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. This
report would be completed within 180 days of the enactment of the defense
appropriations bill and would recommend national groundwater contamination
standards, indicate the military and defense industry contamination sources, and
outline mitigation steps for which the federal government would be responsible.
The conferees directed the Department of Defense to submit a report identifying
sources of perchlorate contamination on Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
properties along with plans to remediate this contamination. The conferees moved
the deadline for the submission of this report from the Senate-recommended March
Major Funding Trends
Between FY1985 and FY1998, funding devoted to military construction
declined steadily as DOD and Congress struggled with a changing strategic
environment, a shrinking military force, and the uncertainties associated with several
rounds of base realignments and closures. Appropriations began to rise with FY1998
as Congress sought to replace outdated facilities and improve the quality of life for
military personnel at home and in the workplace. Administration requests for military
construction funding (not including BRAC and family housing) continued to decline
until FY2000, but have risen for FY2001 and FY2002. The request for FY2004 rises
above the level requested for FY2003, and DOD projects that its annual construction
requests will approximately triple between FY2003 and FY2007 (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Military Construction Funding
Prior to FY1994, Congress considered Administration requests to exceed real
construction requirements, typically appropriating less new budget authority than
requested. This pattern reversed with the FY1995 budget. Every year since then,
Congress has added to Administration requests, countering what Members have
termed “inadequate” funding for military construction.
Table 4 breaks down the FY2004 request by appropriations account and
compares it to FY2003 levels. Table 5 shows congressional action on current
military construction appropriations by account. Table 6 compares Administration
military construction requests and enactments for Guard and Reserve projects from
Military Construction Appropriations
H.R. 2559 (Knollenberg). Making appropriations for military construction,
family housing, and base realignment and closure for the Department of Defense for
the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes. H.R. 2559 was
reported out of committee on June 17, 2003, and introduced to the House on June 23.
The bill passed the House on June 26, 2003 (428-0), and was sent to the Senate.
The Senate began consideration of H.R. 2559 on July 10, amending it by
striking all text after the enacting clause and substituting the text of S. 1357. On July
conference with the House. The House disagreed to the Senate amendment on a
motion passed without objection on September 16. The House then requested a
conference and appointed conferees. Conferees agreed on the final bill on November
4, and the House approved their report on November 5 (417-5, Roll No. 606). The
message on House action is being held at the desk in the Senate.
S. 1357 (Hutchinson). An original bill making appropriations for military
construction, family housing, and base realignment and closure for the Department
of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes. S.
1357 was reported as an original measure on June 26, 2003. The Senate began
consideration of H.R. 2559 on July 10, amending it by striking all text after the
enacting clause and substituting the text of S. 1357. All subsequent action is listed
under H.R. 2559.
H.R. 1588 (Hunter, by request).25 To authorize appropriations for FY2004 for
military activities of the Department of Defense, and for military construction, to
prescribe military personnel strengths for FY2004, and for other purposes. Introduced
on April 23, 2003, and referred to the Committee on Armed Services, it was further
referred to the Subcommittees on Projection Forces, Total Force, Readiness, Tactical
Air and Land Forces, Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities, and
Strategic Forces. The subcommittees completed markup and returned the bill to the
full committee on May 9. The Subcommittee on Readiness, which exercises
jurisdiction over the military construction portion of the authorization bill,
recommended increasing the requested funding for construction and adopted (16-5)
an amendment sponsored by Representative Gene Taylor (Miss.-04) that would
repeal the FY2005 round of base realignments and closures. The measure was passed
out by voice vote. The bill was reported out on May 16, 2003 (H.Rept. 108-106), and
placed on the Union Calendar (Calendar No. 53). The committee filed a supplemental
report (H.Rept 108-106, Part II) on May 21. Brought to the floor on May 21, 2003,
subject to a rule (H.Res.245). H.R. 1588 was debated, amended, and passed by
recorded vote (361-68, Roll no. 221) on May 21 and 22.
The bill was received in the Senate on June 2, 2003, and on June 4 was laid
before the Senate by unanimous consent. The Senate struck all after the Enacting
Clause and substituted the language of S. 1050. The bill passed with an amendment
by voice vote the same day (Congressional Record, S7297-7364).The Senate then
insisted on its amendment and appointed conferees. The Senate sent a message to the
House informing it of its action on June 5, 2003.
Conferees met for the first time on July 22. The House voted on September 10
to instruct its conferees regarding Sections 606 and 619 of the Senate amendment
(relating to the rates of pay for the family separation allowance and imminent danger
pay) (406-0, Roll No. 500, Congressional Record, H8167, et seq.). On September 17,
25 S. 2225 corresponds to the Administration’s budget request and was introduced by
request. H.R. 4546 and S. 2514 are the defense authorization bills from the House and
Senate Armed Services Committees respectively.
the House debated whether to instruct its conferees on Subtitle F of Title VI of the
Senate amendment (relating to naturalization and family protection for military
members) (Congressional Record, H8366-H8369). The vote on whether to accept the
motion occurred on September 23 (298-118, 18 not voting, Roll No. 511,
Congressional Record, H8466).
Table 4. Military Construction Appropriations by Account:
(new budget authority in thousands of dollars)
Account F Y 2003Enacted F Y 2004Re que s t F Y 2004Conf erence
MilCon, Air Force1,201,266830,6711,044,751
Total: Active Components5,056,1574,193,8404,203,373
MilCon, Army National Guard241,377168,298311,592
MilCon, Air National Guard203,81360,430222,908
MilCon, Army Reserve100,55468,47888,451
MilCon, Navy Reserve74,92128,03245,498
MilCon, Air Force Reserve85,82644,31262,032
Total: Reserve Components706,491369,550730,481
Total: Military Construction5,762,6484,563,3904,933,854
NATO Security Investment Program167,200169,300161,300
Family Housing Const., Army275,436356,891289,440
Family Housing Operation & Debt, Army1,106,0071,043,0261,033,026
Family Housing Const., Navy & Marine373,816184,193143,685
Family Housing Operation & Debt, Navy861,788852,778835,078
& Marine Corps
Family Housing Const., AF676,042637,718637,718
Family Housing Operation & Debt, AF864,850834,468816,074
Family Housing Const., Def-wide5,480350350
Family Housing Operation & Debt, Def-42,39549,44049,440
DOD Family Housing Improvement Fund2,000300(9,392)
Total: Family Housing4,207,8143,959,1643,795,419
Total: BRAC Acct.561,138370,427370,427
General Provision (CBO est.)55,00055,000
Source: Data for FY2003 Enacted from H.Rept. 108-173; H.Rept. 108-342.
Table 5. Military Construction FY2004 Appropriations by
Account; Congressional Action
(in thousands of dollars)
MilCon, Air Force830,671896,1361,056,3771,044,751
Total: Active Components4,193,8404,198,8693,964,1414,203,373
MilCon, Army Nat’l. Guard168,298208,033304,085311,592
MilCon, Air National Guard60,43077,105221,013222,908
MilCon, Army Reserve68,47884,56973,97988,451
MilCon, Naval Reserve28,03238,99234,74245,498
MilCon, Air Force Reserve44,31256,21257,42662,032
Total: Reserve Components369,550464,911691,245730,481
Total: Military Construction4,563,3904,663,7804,655,3864,933,854
NATO Security Investment169,300169,300169,300161,300
Family Housing Const., Army356,891356,891356,891289,440
Family Housing Ops & Maint,1,043,0261,043,0261,043,0261,033,026
Family Housing Const., 184,193180,608180,608143,685
Navy & Marine Corps
Family Housing Ops & Maint,852,778852,778852,778835,078
Navy & Marine Corps
Family Housing Const., 637,718628,026628,026637,718
Family Housing Ops & Maint,834,468826,074834,468816,074
Family Housing Const,350350350350
Family Housing Ops & Maint,49,44049,44049,44049,440
DOD Family Housing300300300(9,392)
Total: Family Housing3,959,1643,937,4933,945,8873,795,419
General Provision (CBO est.)55,00055,00055,00055,000
Sources: H.Rept. 108-173., S.Rept. 108-82, H.Rept. 108-342.
Note: Does not include Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for FY2004.
* Data taken from H.Rept. 108-342.
Table 6. Congressional Additions to Annual DOD Budget
Requests for National Guard and Reserve Military Construction,
(current year dollars in thousands)
To t a l
Army Air Air Change
Fiscal Na tional Na tional Army Naval Force from
Yea r Gu a r d Gu a r d Reserve Reserve Reserve Total Request
1994 302,719 247,491 102,040 25,029 74,486 751,765 +399,996
1995 187,500 248,591 57,193 22,748 56,958 572,990 +401,836
1996 137,110 171,272 72,728 19,055 36,482 436,647 +254,635
1997 78,086 189,855 55,543 37,579 52,805 413,868 +219,777
1998 102,499 190,444 55,453 26,659 15,030 390,085 +217,199
1999 144,903 185,701 102,119 31,621 34,371 498,715 +319,186
2000 236,228 262,360 110,764 28,310 64,071 701,733 +451,132
2002 400,994 250,530 165,136 51,676 74,013 942,349 +327,112
2003 241,377 203,813 100,554 74,921 85,826 706,491 +387,064
2004 311,592 222,908 88,451 45,498 62,032 730,481 +360,931
Source: Department of Defense, Financial Summary Tables, successive years, H.Rept. 108-342.
For Additional Information
CRS Report RL31310. Appropriations for FY2003: Military Construction, by
CRS Report RL31805. Authorization and Appropriations for FY2004: Defense, by
Amy Belasco and Stephen Daggett.
CRS Report RL32090, FY2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq, Afghanistan,
and the Global War on Terrorism: Military Operations & Reconstruction
Assistance, by Stephen Daggett, Larry Nowels, Curt Tarnoff, and Rhoda
CRS Report RL31349. Defense Budget for FY2003: Data Summary, by Amy
Belasco and Stephen Daggett.
CRS Report RL31187. Combating Terrorism: 2001 Congressional Debate on
Emergency Supplemental Allocations, by Amy Belasco and Larry Q. Nowels,
CRS Report RL31305. Appropriations and Authorization for FY2003: Defense,
coordinated by Amy Belasco and Stephen Daggett.
CRS Report RL30002. A Defense Budget Primer, by Mary T. Tyszkiewicz and
CRS Report RL30440. Military Base Closures: Estimates of Costs and Savings, by
David E. Lockwood.
CRS Report RL30051. Military Base Closures: Agreement on a 2005 Round, by
David E. Lockwood.
Selected World Wide Web Sites
Legislative Branch Sites
House Committee on Appropriations
Senate Committee on Appropriations
[ h ttp://www.senate.gov/~appropriations/]
CRS Appropriations Products Guide
Congressional Budget Office
General Accounting Office
U.S. Department of Defense Sites
U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller),
FY2004 Budget Materials
[ http://www.dod.mil/comptroller/defbudget/fy2004/index .html]
U.S. Department of Defense, Installations & Environment Home Page
White House Sites
Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, Budget
Office of Management & Budget