Legislative Updates

House Approves Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill with $10 M for Vision Trauma Research Program

Legislative Update
June 23, 2014

Late last Friday, the House approved an FY2015 Defense spending bill that includes $10 million in VTRP funding, reflecting the third year that this line item has been funded at that level in the House. Although the Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet taken action on a bill, it is unlikely to have a VTRP line, as the Senate has traditionally included vision in a pool of funds within Defense Health Programs, and then in conference accepted the House bill’s funding recommendation.

The final amount that the VTRP awards is usually higher than the Congressionally appropriated amount, as other DOD research programs, notably the Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury (PH/TBI) Research Program, transfers over funding with the requirement that it be used for research projects focused on TBI-related visual dysfunction. In FY2013, the $10 million appropriation grew to $14.5 million in awards that will be announced late this fiscal year.

NAEVR’s FY2015 VTRP funding request was once again supported by The Independent Budget submitted by Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and Military Service Organizations (MSOs) whose support was coordinated by NAEVR member BVA. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) joined with Congs. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Bill Owens (D-NY) in submitting the formal VTRP funding request letter to House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ).