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H.Doc.108-104 PLAN COLOMBIA/ANDEAN COUNTERDRUG INITIATIVE SEMI-ANNUAL OBLIGATION ...


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108th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 
                                                             108-102
 
     FY 2003 APPROPRIATION LAW CHANGE AND FY 2004 BUDGET AMENDMENT

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

  REQUESTS TO CHANGE FY 2003 APPROPRIATIONS LAW AND AN FY 2004 BUDGET 
            AMENDMENT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


July 17, 2003.--Referred to the Committee on Appropriations and ordered 
                             to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                         Washington, July 15, 2003.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: I ask the Congress to consider the 
enclosed requests to change FY 2003 appropriations law and an 
FY 2004 budget amendment for the Department of Veterans 
Affairs, none of which will affect budget levels.
    The details of these requests are set forth in the enclosed 
letter from the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget.
            Sincerely,
                                                    George W. Bush.
               [Estimate No. 13, 108th Cong., 1st Sess.]

                 Executive Office of the President,
                           Office of Management and Budget,
                                     Washington, DC, July 14, 2003.
The President,
The White House.
    Submitted for your consideration are two proposed changes 
to FY 2003 appropriations law, as well as a related FY 2004 
budget amendment for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 
Your proposed budget totals would not be affected by these 
requests.
    This transmittal includes language that would increase the 
statutory loan limit for VA's Native American veteran housing 
loan program account from $5 million to $40 million. Low 
interest rates have created more demand for new construction 
loans and refinancing of existing loans than originally 
projected. The current $5 million statutory loan limitation 
placed on the program by P.L. 108-7, the Consolidated 
Appropriations Resolution, 2003, in insufficient to meet this 
current demand. Absent this requested adjustment, VA cannot 
issue any new loans for the remainder of FY 2003.
    Also included is an FY 2003 request, as well as an FY 2004 
budget amendment, that would allow VA to conduct cost 
comparison studies using appropriated funds to ensure that 
services, such as laundry and food services, are delivered to 
veterans at the lowest possible cost without compromising 
quality of service.
    I have carefully reviewed these proposals and am satisfied 
that they are necessary at this time. Therefore, I join the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs in recommending that you transmit 
these proposals to the Congress.
            Sincerely,
                                          Joshua B. Bolten,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosures.
                            FY 2003 Proposal


                     DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


                    Veterans Benefits Administration


          NATIVE AMERICAN VETERAN HOUSING LOAN PROGRAM ACCOUNT

    Under the heading, ``Native American Veteran Housing Loan 
Program Account,'' in title I, division K of Public Law 108-7, 
delete ``$5,000,000'' and insert ``$40,000,000''.
    This request would increase the statutory loan limit for 
this program from $5 million to $40 million to allow the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue issuing direct 
loans. The loan limitation was placed on the program in P.L. 
108-7, the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003, for 
the first time in the history of this program.
    With mortgage rates at historical lows, Native American 
veterans have been obtaining interest rate reduction 
refinancing loans in record numbers, and the number of 
origination loans has also increased. The statutory limitation 
of $5 million is insufficient to meet the current demand. 
Absent the proposed loan limit adjustment, VA cannot issue any 
new loans for the remainder of FY 2003. No additional credit 
subsidy budget authority is required.
    The proposed budget totals would not be affected by this 
request.
                                ------                                


                     DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


                     Veterans Health Administration


                              MEDICAL CARE

    Under the heading, ``Medical Care,'' in title I, division K 
of Public Law 108-7, insert the following after the second 
proviso: ``Provided further, That of the funds made available 
under this heading, not to exceed $25,000,000 is to fund cost 
comparison studies authorized by 38 U.S.C. 8110(a)(5):''.
    This request would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs 
to conduct cost comparison studies using already appropriated 
funds to ensure that services, such as laundry and food 
services, are delivered to veterans at the lowest possible cost 
without compromising quality of service.
    The proposed budget totals would not be affected by this 
request.
                                ------                                

                        FY 2004 Budget Amendment


                     DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


                            Medical Programs


                              MEDICAL CARE

FY 2004 Budget Appendix Page: 809
FY 2004 Pending Request: $25,406,024,000
Proposed Amendment: Language
Revised Request: $25,406,024,000

(In the appropriations language under the above heading, insert 
the following before the period at the end of the first 
sentence:)

; and of which not to exceed $50,000,000 shall be available to 
fund cost comparison studies authorized by 38 U.S.C. 8110(a)(5)
    This request would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs 
to conduct cost comparison studies and allow appropriated funds 
to be used for such purposes to ensure that services, such as 
laundry and food services, are delivered to veterans at the 
lowest possible cost without compromising quality of service.
    The proposed budget totals would not be affected by this 
request.


Pages: 1

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