On October 22, President Obama vetoed the nearly $612 billion fiscal year 2016 annual defense spending bill as anticipated. The Senate and House had finally reached consensus weeks ago on a handful of holdout issues in the legislation before sending it to the President for his signature. That included funding for the Basic Allowance for Housing - a core military benefit that compensates service members for their housing costs. Any changes would increase out-of-pocket housing expenses for one million troops and impact apartment communities that serve the military. The final compromise between the Senate and House had provided for a moderate change that would have reduced housing benefits by one percent.
The veto was a lingering threat due to larger budget concerns that the bill would use emergency war funding to bypass sequestration caps on defense spending. But the ongoing budget and appropriations considerations could impact the BAH funding levels moving forward.
NMHC/NAA continue to educate lawmakers about the importance of fully funding housing benefits to ensure quality housing for the military and support the privatized housing program.
Importantly, before consensus was reached on the bill, the Senate package had backed a five percent reduction and other changes to the administration of housing benefits. The House had made no changes to the BAH.
- Congress Passes Defense Authorization Bill with Halt to Military Housing Benefits Cuts
- House Passes Defense Authorization Bill with Halt to Housing Benefits Cuts
- NMHC/NAA Weighs in on NDAA Supporting Privatized Military Housing
- NDAA 2019 Conference Letter
- Annual Defense Bill Clears House with Relief for Housing Providers