December 6, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on November 20, 2013
H.R. 3521 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into leases to obtain the use of major medical facilities at 27 specified locations. Based on VA’s long-established practice, CBO expects that the department would implement that authorization by awarding contracts for the construction and long-term use of those facilities without recording the full amount of the government’s commitment as an obligation of its appropriated funds. Thus, H.R. 3521 would effectively be providing budget authority for an amount of obligations that exceeds what we expect VA initially would charge against its appropriation. By CBO’s estimate, that additional budget authority would amount to $1.4 billion.