House approves project labor amendment to VA bill by one vote

Twenty-seven Republicans voted against their party on the amendment, and all but one Democrat voted for it.

Earlier in the day, Republicans argued that LaTourette's language would ensure that project labor agreements would always be used, which would drive up construction costs by requiring union workers. But LaTourette and other supporters said the language is needlessly anti-union, and would prevent the government from comparing the costs with and without a project labor agreement.

Also on Monday, members rejected an amendment from Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would have prohibited funds in the bill from being used to enforce the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements. That proposal was killed in a 178-232 vote.

But the House easily approved an amendment from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) that prevents any spending under the bill that is in violation of the War Powers Resolution. This language was seen as more favorable on this bill than it was on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill, and it was approved in a 248-163 vote.

After voting on these and other amendments, the House in a separate roll call vote overwhelmingly approved Title II of the bill, which relates to funding for VA. The rule for the bill, H.R. 2055, required a separate vote on this title, and was designed this way by Republicans as a check against loading up appropriations bills with too many elements and having them all pass together.

Members approved Title II in a 409-1 vote.

Earlier Monday, the House approved an amendment by voice vote from Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) that would take $25 million from a NATO security investment program and shift it to improve U.S. National Guard facilities.

Members also voice-voted an amendment from Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) that would prevent funds from being used to implement current law that bans the use of any new fuel unless its greenhouse gas emissions are less than those caused by the fuel it replaces. In another voice vote, members approved an amendment from Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) that prevents VA from entering into contracts that don't help small businesses.

The House concluded its work on the VA bill shortly before 7:30 p.m., and on Tuesday is expected to approve the entire bill.

-- This story was updated at 7:25 to reflect the final vote.