The committee included additional funds to the Department of Veterans Affairs to help deal with the backlog of veterans’ disability claims and some reductions in military construction as an offset.
Lawmakers have criticized the VA for its inability to deal with the hundreds of thousands of claims that have yet to be processed. The VA has vowed to end the backlog by 2015.
The $1.4 billion boost for military construction and veterans affairs comes as many other House appropriations committees are planning for reductions compared to the 2013 funding levels.
The Appropriations Committee is setting discretionary spending levels based on the House-passed 2014 budget of $966 billion, which is the sequester cap set in the August 2011 debt and fiscal-cliff deal and an $18 billion decrease from 2013. The House budgeted defense spending at pre-sequester levels balanced out by further reductions elsewhere.
Much of the funding for veterans is exempt from sequester.
On the Senate side, Democratic leaders are still trying to figure out how they will move spending bills this year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been meeting to determine their path forward.