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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     104-649
_______________________________________________________________________


 
  VETERANS' COMPENSATION AND READJUSTMENT BENEFITS AMENDMENTS OF 1996

_______________________________________________________________________


 June 27, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Stump, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3673]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3673) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
revise and improve certain veterans programs and benefits, to 
authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to enter 
into arrangements for the repair and long-term maintenance of 
war memorials for which the Commission assumes responsibility, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                              Introduction

    The reported bill reflects the Committee's consideration of 
several bills introduced during the 104th Congress, including 
H.R. 368, H.R. 1482, H.R. 1809, H.R. 2155, H.R. 2513, H.R. 
2851, H.R. 3248, H.R. 3495, and H.R. 3611.
    On April 17, 1996, the Subcommittee on Compensation, 
Pension, Insurance and Memorial Affairs ordered reported H.R. 
3248 to the full Committee, which contained provisions from 
H.R. 368, H.R. 1482, H.R. 1809, and H.R. 2155. The Subcommittee 
ordered reported favorably H.R. 2513 and H.R. 3495 to the full 
Committee on May 22, 1996.
    On May 30, 1996, the Subcommittee on Education, Training, 
Employment and Housing ordered reported favorably H.R. 2851 and 
H.R. 3459 to the full Committee.
    On June 20, 1996, the full Committee met and ordered 
reported H.R. 3673 to the House by unanimous voice vote.

                      Summary of the Reported Bill

    H.R. 3673 contains three titles.

    Title I would:

          1. Add bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma to the list of 
        service-connected illnesses presumed to manifest in a 
        radiation-exposed veteran.
          2. Provide a presumption of permanent and total 
        disability for veterans over the age of 65 who are 
        nursing home patients.
          3. Establish a pilot program under which non-VA 
        physicians may provide disability examinations to 
        applicants for VA benefits pursuant to contracts.
          4. Limit the clothing allowance for incarcerated 
        veterans.
          5. Extend the time for the submission of the final 
        report of the Veterans' Claims Adjudication Commission, 
        and provide an additional $150,000 for the Commission's 
        final activities.

    Title II would:

          1. Modify the VA's GI Bill ``two-year rule'' 
        regulating access for veterans to institutions of 
        higher learning.
          2. Eliminate the distinction between courses through 
        open circuit TV and independent study allowing 
        individuals to pursue their educational programs 
        through open circuit TV.
          3. Modify the medical certification required to 
        retain eligibility for Montgomery GI Bill flight 
        training benefits.
          4. Allow full-time education benefits to be paid to 
        veterans training under cooperative training programs.
          5. Extend the VA's authority for the enhanced loan 
        asset sales for an additional year to reduce VA 
        servicing and facilitate conversion of long-term assets 
        into cash through reduced VA interest payments to 
        investors in the secondary mortgage market.
          6. Extend authorization of the Homeless Veterans' 
        Reintegration Project (HVRP) through fiscal year 1999, 
        and authorize $10 million per year for the Project.

    Title III would:

          1. Authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission 
        to assume responsibility for overseas war memorials and 
        accept private funds for maintenance.
          2. Expand eligibility for burial benefits to include 
        certain veterans who die in State nursing homes.

                       Background and Discussion

                TITLE I--VETERANS COMPENSATION BENEFITS

    In May 1996, there were approximately 2.2 million veterans 
receiving disability compensation. The Department of Veterans 
Affairs expects to spend more than $15 billion in fiscal year 
1997 on disability compensation. The basic purpose of the 
disability compensation program is to provide a measure of 
relief from the impaired earning capacity of veterans disabled 
as the result of their military service. The amount of 
compensation payable varies according to the degree of 
disability, which, in turn, is required by law to represent, to 
the extent practicable, the average impairment in earning 
capacity resulting from such disability or combination of 
disabilities in civilian occupations.
    To be eligible to receive disability compensation, a 
veteran must have contracted a disease, suffered an injury 
which is not the result of willful misconduct, or aggravated an 
existing disease or injury during active duty service, and have 
been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.
    The responsibility for determining a veteran's entitlement 
to service connection for a disability rests solely with the 
Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Section 101. Presumption that bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma 
is service connected. Compensation benefits would be available 
to veterans who were exposed to radiation during their military 
service and who now have bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma, a 
radiation-related cancer of the lung. This is estimated to 
affect about ten cases annually.
    Section 102. Presumption of permanent and total disability 
for veterans over age 65 who are nursing home patients. This 
presumption would make the rating procedure for eligibility 
determination unnecessary. According to VA, persons in nursing 
homes are currently considered permanently and totally disabled 
and are rated as such. In the rare instance of an individual 
rated permanently and totally disabled and subsequently 
discharged from the nursing home, a new rating determination 
would be necessary.
    Section 103. Pilot program for use of contract physicians 
for disability examinations. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
would have discretionary authority to conduct a pilot program 
under which contract physicians would provide disability 
examinations to applicants for VA benefits. The Secretary would 
be authorized to conduct the pilot program in up to ten 
regional offices. This provision would allow the VA to explore 
another method for improving the timeliness of benefits claims 
processing. The Secretary would be required to submit a Report 
to Congress on the effect of this authority not later than 
three years after the date of enactment of this Act.
    Section 104. Limitation on clothing allowance for 
incarcerated veterans. The VA is required to pay a clothing 
allowance to each veteran, who, because of a service-connected 
disability, wears or uses a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance 
which tends to wear out or tear the veteran's clothing, or who 
uses medication prescribed for a skin condition which is due to 
a service-connected condition and causes irreparable damage to 
the veteran's outer garments. The provision would withhold a 
pro-rated payment to a veteran incarcerated for more than 60 
days in a State, Federal, or local penal institution where 
inmates receive institutional clothing at no personal expense.
    Section 105. Extension of Veterans' Claims Adjudication 
Commission. The Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act of 1994 
(Public Law 103-446) established the Veterans' Claims 
Adjudication Commission to study the processes and procedures 
of the Department of Veterans Affairs for the adjudication, 
resolution, review and final disposition of VA benefits claims. 
The purpose of the study was to determine the following:

          1. The efficiency of current processes and procedures 
        under the system for the adjudication, resolution, 
        review, and final disposition of claims for veterans 
        benefits, including the effect of judicial review on 
        the system, and means of increasing the efficiency of 
        the system.
          2. The means of reducing the number of claims in the 
        system for which final disposition is pending.
          3. The means of enhancing the ability of the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs to achieve final 
        determinations regarding claims in the system in a 
        prompt and appropriate manner.

    The Commission was directed to submit to the Secretary and 
to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House and Senate 
a preliminary report on the study one year after the date of 
the enactment of the Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act of 
1994 (November 2, 1994). The preliminary findings and 
conclusions were submitted to the joint staff of the Veterans' 
Affairs Committees on February 7, 1996. Additionally, not later 
than 18 months after the enactment date, the Commission was 
directed to submit a final report on the study.
    On April 23, 1996, the Chairman of the Veterans' Claims 
Adjudication Commission submitted a request for an extension in 
order to complete the study requirements set forth in Public 
Law 103-446. Additional public meetings are scheduled in order 
to fulfill the high expectations of the study, as well as work 
group sessions. The additional time will ensure the Commission 
presents comprehensive, concrete, and specific recommendations 
to the Congress.
    This provision would authorize the extension of the 
reporting deadline to December 31, 1996. It would also 
authorize an additional $75,000 in fiscal year 1996 and $75,000 
in the first two quarters of fiscal year 1997. The Commission 
shall terminate 90 days after the date on which the Commission 
submits its final report.

          TITLE II--EDUCATION AND OTHER READJUSTMENT BENEFITS

    VA has provided a wide variety of education benefits since 
the end of World War II. Today's major education program, the 
Montgomery GI Bill, currently enrolls nearly 200,000 veterans 
and dependents in colleges and vocational schools. Following 
WWII and the Vietnam War, the large number of veterans using GI 
Bill education benefits created an environment for schools and 
programs designed only to generate revenue from veterans 
benefits without providing a quality education. To reduce the 
incidence of these types of operations, Congress put in place 
the ``two-year rule.'' The law required that schools be in 
operation for at least two years to be approved for veterans 
benefits. Courses offered by the schools had to meet the same 
requirement.
    Currently, the State Approving Agencies (SAAs) closely 
monitor the quality of schools and programs in every state. 
Acting as VA's quality control agent, the SAAs regularly 
inspect institutions for compliance with state and VA laws and 
regulations, and certify schools for eligibility for veterans 
education benefits.
    Section 201. Period of operation for approval. This 
provision would modify the Department of Veterans Affair's GI 
Bill's ``two-year rule'' which regulates veterans' access to 
institutions providing education and training. The provision 
would remove the 2-year restriction on all degree granting 
institutions, including branch campuses, and retain it for non-
degree granting institutions and programs, including branches. 
The Committee believes allowing participation by veterans on 
new branch campuses of already proven institutions gives them 
the necessary flexibility to maximize the use of the Montgomery 
GI Bill. The provision would also allow a veteran to attend 
courses offered on or through military bases under contract 
with DoD using GI Bill benefits. Finally, the provision would 
strengthen the conditions under which the State Approving 
Agencies must approve courses, including maintenance of 
adequate records, a written record of previous education 
attained by the eligible person, and satisfaction of all 
appropriate criteria outlined in chapter 36 of title 38, United 
States Code.
    Section 202. Eliminate the distinction between open circuit 
TV and independent study. Currently, a veteran must be 
concurrently enrolled in a course offered in-residence to 
receive educational assistance for a course pursued by open 
circuit TV. There is no such requirement for pursuit of any 
other kind of independent study. This provision would afford 
individuals who wish to pursue their educational programs 
through open circuit TV the opportunity to do so without the 
courses-in-residence requirement. The Committee believes this 
would be a step toward increasing educational opportunities for 
veterans through electronic delivery systems.
    Section 203. Medical qualifications for flight training. 
Currently, a veteran is required to meet the medical 
requirements for a commercial pilot's certificate throughout 
flight training. If VA later discovers that the veteran's 
medical certification has lapsed during training, an 
overpayment may be created. This proposal would permit payment 
of educational benefits for flight training provided the 
veteran meets the medical requirements for a commercial pilot's 
certificate at the beginning of training and within 60 days 
after completion of training.
    Section 204. Cooperative Programs. This provision would 
allow veterans training under cooperative training programs to 
be paid full-time educational benefits. Veterans are currently 
paid at a rate of 80 percent of the full-time educational 
benefit rate. A cooperative program leads to a college degree 
using a combination of in-residence training at a university 
and work experience at a job site. Cooperative training 
continues to offer the veteran not only a source of income 
while training, but a valuable opportunity to gain useful work 
experience.
    Section 205. Extension of Enhanced Loan Asset Sale 
Authority. This provision would extend the authority of the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to guarantee the real estate 
mortgage investment conduits (REMICs) that are used to market 
vendee loans. The VA home loan program generates millions of 
dollars in home loans which VA packages as secondary mortgage 
market securities. Congress authorized VA to improve its 
payment of interest on these securities in a manner that would 
allow VA to offer reduced interest rates, thereby saving the VA 
millions of dollars in interest payments. The VA's lead 
underwriter, First Boston Corporation, has estimated that 
timely payments reduce the yield that must be offered to 
investors. Reducing the yield on certificates would lower the 
payments to certificate holders and increase sales receipts to 
VA. This provision would also make the Secretary's authority to 
guarantee REMICs permanent.
    Section 206. Extension of authority for the Homeless 
Veterans Reintegration Projects. The Homeless Veterans 
Reintegration Project (HVRP) is administered by the Department 
of Labor and is designed to help indigent and homeless veterans 
return to society as productive citizens. Aided by community-
based organizations, the program's goal is to find and place 
homeless veterans in jobs, and the Committee believes HVRP is 
an effective program. In fiscal year 1996, the program received 
no appropriated support, but the Committee feels it is 
important to maintain the program. Although in the past, $5 
million was appropriated annually for HVRP, this year the 
Appropriations Committee has urged the Secretary of Labor to 
fund the program within his discretionary resources. As stated 
in Public Law 103-446, it was the Sense of Congress that 
organizations dedicated to serving homeless veterans should 
receive a share of federal funds devoted to the homeless in a 
proportion roughly equal to the percentage of homeless veterans 
among the general homeless population. That percentage is 
currently estimated at one-third of the adult male population.

                        TITLE III--OTHER MATTERS

    Section 301. Repair and long-term maintenance of war 
memorials. The provision would amend title 36, United States 
Code, authorizing the American Battle Monuments Commission 
(ABMC) to assume responsibility for overseas memorials and 
accept private funds for maintenance. Currently, the ABMC does 
not have the authority to receive monetary donations and 
without the authorization would not be able to accept private 
funds to maintain overseas war memorials.
    Section 302. Burial benefits for certain veterans who die 
in State nursing homes. The Department of Veterans Affairs 
currently pays burial benefits for veterans who were either 
compensation or pension recipients, or who died in VA medical 
facilities. This provision would provide burial benefits to 
approximately 300 of the 2,500 veterans who die in State 
nursing homes yearly, but who do not qualify for priority care 
in Veterans Health Administration facilities. These veterans 
generally do not have service-connected disabilities or low 
incomes.

                      Section-By-Section Analysis

    Section 1 would be cited as the ``Veterans' Compensation 
and Readjustment Benefits Amendments of 1996''.
    Section 101 would amend section 1112(c)(2) of title 38, 
United States Code, by adding bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma to 
the list of presumed service-connected illness in veterans 
exposed to radiation.
    Section 102 would amend section 1502(a) by providing a 
presumption of permanent and total disability for veteran 
nursing home patients over the age of 65.
    Section 103(a) would provide the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs the authority to conduct a pilot program under which 
contract physicians may provide disability examinations to 
applicants for disability benefits.
    Section 103(b) would limit the Secretary to carrying out 
this pilot program in not more than 10 regional offices of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Section 103(c) would provide for payments for contracts 
under the pilot program to be made from amounts available to 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for payment of examinations 
of applicants for benefits.
    Section 103(d) would require the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs to submit to Congress a report on the effect of this 
pilot program, specifically on the cost, timeliness and 
thoroughness of medical disability examinations, not later than 
three years after the date of enactment of this Act.
    Section 104(a) would amend chapter 53 of title 38, by 
inserting a new section after section 5313, limiting the 
payment of the clothing allowance to veterans incarcerated in a 
Federal, State, or local penal institution for a period in 
excess of 60 days.
    Section 104(b) would amend the table of sections at the 
beginning of Chapter 53 by inserting a new item: ``5313A. 
Limitation on payment of clothing allowance to incarcerated 
veterans''.
    Section 105(a) would amend section 402(e)(2) of the 
Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act of 1994 by extending the 
reporting deadline of the Veterans' Claims Adjudication 
Commission to December 31, 1996.
    Section 105(b) would provide an additional $150,000 for 
activities of the Veterans' Claims Adjudication Commission.
    Section 201(a) would amend chapter 36 by deleting section 
3689 and amending the table of sections by deleting section 
3689 and by deleting the reference to section 3689(b)(6) and 
substituting 3680A(g).
    Section 201(b) would amend section 3680A by adding new 
subsections (e), (f), and (g) which would direct the Secretary 
not to approve enrollment in the following situations: non-
degree courses in institutions or branches of institutions that 
have been in operation less than two years; institutions that 
have undergone a substantial change in ownership, location or 
student body makeup; institutions operated under contract to 
another institution; and an unapproved course offered by a 
contractor. The Secretary would be authorized to approve 
veteran enrollment in courses offered on or near military 
installations offered under contract to the Department of 
Defense.
    Section 201(c) would amend section 3675(b) to require that 
State Approving Agencies determine that educational 
institutions keep records showing the student's progress, 
enforcement of standards, credit for previous education and 
training, and course length modification where appropriate. 
Institutions and courses would also be required to meet the 
criteria laid out in section 3676(c)(1), (2) and (3).
    Section 202(a) would amend section 3482(f) by allowing full 
benefit payment for courses taken by open circuit TV.
    Section 202(b) would amend section 3523(a)(4) by adding 
closed circuit TV courses to the type of independent study 
courses which the Secretary may approve enrollment of a 
veteran's surviving dependent. The Secretary would also be 
prohibited from approving enrollment in courses offered by 
radio.
    Section 202(c) would amend section 3680(c) to prohibit 
enrollment in courses taught exclusively by radio.
    Section 203(a) amends sections 3034(d)(2) and 3241(b)(2) by 
removing the stipulation that a veteran enrolled in a course of 
flight instruction maintain a commercial pilot medical 
certificate throughout flight training. As amended, a veteran 
would be required to obtain a commercial pilot's medical 
certificate at the beginning and end of flight training.
    Section 203(b) would amend section 16136(c) of title 10 by 
removing the stipulation that a veteran enrolled in a course of 
flight instruction maintain a commercial pilot medical 
certificate throughout flight training. As amended, a veteran 
would be required to obtain a commercial pilots medical 
certificate at the beginning and end of flight training.
    Section 204(a) and (b) would amend sections 3032 and 3231 
to allow that full-time rates be paid to veterans receiving 
training under cooperative programs.
    Section 204 (c) would amend subsection (b) of section 3532 
by striking ``$327'' and inserting ``$404''.
    Section 205 would amend section 3720(h)(2) to extend VA's 
authority to sell real estate mortgage investment conduits on 
the secondary mortgage market through December 31, 1997.
    Section 206(a) would amend section 738(e)(1) of the Stuart 
B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11448(e)(1), by 
authorizing the program and funding at $10,000,000 per year 
through fiscal year 1999.
    Section 206(b) would make technical corrections to Public 
Law 104-110 by repealing section 102(d)(2) and would amend 
section 741 of the Stuart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 
42 U.S.C. 11450, so as to appear as in effect immediately 
before the enactment of Public Law 104-110.
    Section 301 would amend section 125(b)(2) of title 36, 
(section 5(b)(2) of the Act of March 4, 1923), by giving 
authority to the American Battle Monuments Commission to enter 
into arrangements with the sponsors of memorials to provide for 
the repair or long-term maintenance of the memorial. It would 
also establish a fund in the Treasury to cover Commission 
expenses for the maintenance and repair of memorials for which 
the Commission has entered.
    Section 302 would amend section 2303(a) to provide for 
burial costs and transportation to the place of burial for a 
veteran who dies in a State home, or for a veteran in an 
institution receiving hospital care, nursing home care, or 
nursing home care payments.

                           Oversight Findings

    No oversight findings have been submitted to the Committee 
by the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost estimate

    The following letter was received from the Congressional 
Budget Office concerning the cost of the reported bill:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 21, 1996.
Hon. Bob Stump,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3673, Veterans' 
Compensation and Readjustment Benefits Amendments of 1996, as 
ordered reported by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on 
June 20, 1996.
    The bill would affect direct spending and thus would be 
subject to pay-as-you-go procedures under section 252 of the 
Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them.
            Sincerely,
                                           June E. O'Neill,
                                                          Director.

    Attachment

               Congressional Budget Office cost estimate

    1. Bill number: H.R. 3673
    2. Bill title: Veterans' Compensation and Readjustment 
Benefits Amendments of 1996.
    3. Bill status: As ordered reported by the House Committee 
on Veterans' Affairs on June 20, 1996.
    4. Bill purpose: This bill would amend current law 
governing several veterans programs. The changes with 
significant budgetary impacts address financial management of 
housing programs, clothing allowances, examinations for 
disabilities, and homeless veterans.
    5. Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The table 
below summarizes the budgetary effects of the bill. It shows 
the effects of the bill on direct spending and authorizations 
of appropriations.

                                                                                                                
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     1996     1997     1998     1999     2000     2001     2002 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                
                                                 DIRECT SPENDING                                                
Proposed changes:                                                                                               
  Estimated budget authority.....................        0       -4       -3       -1       -1       -1       -1
  Estimated outlays..............................        0       -4       -3       -1       -1       -1       -1
                                                                                                                
                                    SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONS ACTION                                   
Proposed changes:                                                                                               
  Estimated authorization level..................        0       19       19       19       10       10       11
  Estimated outlays..............................        0        8       14       19       19       13       13
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Costs of the bill would fall under budget function 700. Veterans' Affairs.                                


    6. Basis of estimate: The estimate assumes enactment of the 
bill by October 1, 1996, and appropriation of the authorized 
amounts for each fiscal year. CBO used historical spending 
rates for estimating outlays.

                            Direct Spending

    The bill contains several provisions that would affect 
direct spending.
    Extension of the authority to sell certain loans.--The bill 
would extend through December 31, 1997, the authority of the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to guarantee the real estate 
mortgage investment conduits (REMICs) that are used to market 
vendee loans. Vendee loans are issued to buyers of properties 
that VA acquires through foreclosures. VA then sells these 
loans on the secondary mortgage market using REMICs. By 
guaranteeing the certificates issued on a pool of loans, VA 
obtains a better price but assumes some risk.
    Because recent history indicates that receipts would 
increase by about 0.4 percent of sales, CBO assumes that this 
provision would save about $5 million for the additional year 
based on sales of $1.3 billion. Two-thirds of the savings would 
be realized in 1997 and the remainder in 1998. If this 
provision were not enacted VA could market these loans under 
other provisions of law. Nevertheless, this provision permits 
VA to obtain a better price for a package of vendee loans than 
if it used a REMIC program of the Government National Mortgage 
Association.

                                                                                                                
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     1996     1997     1998     1999     2000     2001     2002 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                
                                                 DIRECT SPENDING                                                
Spending under current law:                                                                                     
  Estimated budget authority.....................       89      116       89      278      293      303      301
  Estimated outlays..............................       89      116       89      278      293      303      301
Proposed changes:                                                                                               
  Estimated budget authority.....................        0       -3       -2        0        0        0        0
  Estimated outlays..............................        0       -3       -2        0        0        0        0
Spending under the bill:                                                                                        
  Estimated budget authority.....................       89      113       87      278      293      303      301
  Estimated outlays..............................       89      113       87      278      293      303      301
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Costs of the bill would fall under budget function 700, Veterans' Affairs.                                


    Clothing allowance for incarcerated veterans.--Under 
current law, VA pays veterans with service-connected 
disabilities a clothing allowance to accommodate prosthetic 
devices and other medical needs. The average allowance in 1995 
was $490. This bill would reduce on a pro rata basis such 
payments to veterans who are incarcerated. Using recent 
incarceration rates for inmates of both Federal and State 
prisons, CBO estimates that this provision could involve over 
1,000 veterans and save about $1 million a year.

                                                                                                                
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     1996     1997     1998     1999     2000     2001     2002 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                
                                                 DIRECT SPENDING                                                
Spending under current law:                                                                                     
  Estimated budget authority.....................   14,979   15,211   15,511   15,805   16,067   16,335   16,606
  Estimated outlays..............................   13,794   15,222   15,451   15,780   17,198   15,161   16,583
Proposed changes:                                                                                               
  Estimated budget authority.....................        0       -1       -1       -1       -1       -1       -1
  Estimated outlays..............................        0       -1       -1       -1       -1       -1       -1
Spending under the bill:                                                                                        
  Estimated budget authority.....................   14,979   15,210   15,510   15,804   16,066   16,334   16,605
  Estimated outlays..............................   13,794   15,221   15,450   15,779   17,197   15,160   16,582
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Costs of the bill would fall under budget function 700. Veterans' Affairs.                                


    Other provisions.--Several provisions would affect direct 
spending, but would not have a significant impact. Sections 101 
would affect disability compensation for veterans having a rare 
cancer. Sections 102 and 302 would affect the benefits of 
certain veterans in nursing homes. Several sections would 
affect education and other readjustment benefits. Section 201 
addresses the period of operation of certain institutions that 
a veteran could attend and receive benefits. Section 202 would 
eliminate a distinction between open circuit television and 
independent study. Sections 203 and 204 focus on medical 
qualifications for flight training and on cooperative programs, 
respectively. Section 301 would affect repair and long-term 
maintenance of war memorials.

               Spending Subject to Appropriations Action

    Pilot program for use of contract physicians for disability 
examinations.--The bill would authorize VA to establish a pilot 
program in up to 10 regional offices in which private 
physicians would conduct the medical examinations that are 
required for compensation and pension benefits.

                                                                                                                
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     1996     1997     1998     1999     2000     2001     2002 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                
                                    SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONS ACTION                                   
Spending under current law:                                                                                     
  Budget authority 1.............................   16,559   17,171   17,773   18,397   19,040   19,701   20,384
  Estimated outlays..............................   16,880   17,762   17,746   18,328   18,969   19,629   20,310
Proposed changes:                                                                                               
  Estimated authorization level..................        0        9        9        9       10       10       11
  Estimated outlays..............................        0        7        9        9       10       10       11
Spending under the bill:                                                                                        
  Budget authority/authorization 1...............   16,559   17,180   17,782   18,406   19,050   19,711   20,395
  Estimated outlays..............................   16,880   17,769   17,755   18,337   18,979   19,639   20,321
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Costs of the bill would fall under budget function 700. Veterans' Affairs.                                
                                                                                                                
1 The 1996 figure is the amount appropriated for programs authorized by the bill. For 1997-2002, the figures    
  represent a projection based on the permanent authorizations in law.                                          


    In 1995, the average cost of a medical examination of 
compensation and pension applicants conducted by VA staff was 
$180. VA estimates that the cost of a visit with a private 
physician is $300. CBO estimates at about 67,000 examinations 
would occur under the pilot program. The cost of this provision 
would appear in the discretionary account for veterans medical 
care and would total $9 million in 1997. Costs would grow to 
about $11 million in 2002.
    Authority for the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration 
Projects.--The bill would authorize appropriations for the 
Homeless Veterans Job Training Program. The provision specifies 
an authorization level of $10 million per year for 1997, 1998, 
and 1999.

                                                                                                                
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              1997     1998     1999     2000     2001     2002 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Authorization level.....................................       10       10       10        0        0        0
  Estimated outlays.......................................        1        5       10        9        3        2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    7. Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 sets up pay-as-you-go 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
receipts through 1998. The bill would have the following pay-
as-you-go impact:

                                                                        
                [By fiscal years, in millions of dollars]               
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 1996     1997     1998 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Change in outlays............................        0       -4       -3
Change in receipts ..........................        Not applicable     


    8. Estimated cost to State, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 3673 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
Public Law 104-4. Section 201 of the bill would potentially 
impose new costs on States that have voluntarily created State 
Approving Agencies. This provision would clarify the conditions 
under which these agencies must approve enrollment in certain 
educational courses. CBO estimates that any new costs would be 
minimal.
    9. Estimated impact on the private sector: This bill would 
impose no new federal private-sector mandates as defined in 
Public Law 104-4.
    10. Previous CBO estimate: None.
    11. Estimate prepared by:

      Federal cost estimate: Mary Helen Petrus and Victoria 
            Fraider. Christina Hawley.
          Impact on State, local, and tribal governments: Marc 
        Nicole.
          Impact on private sector: Ellen Breslin Davidson.

    12. Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis

                     Inflationary Impact Statement

    The enactment of the reported bill would have no 
inflationary impact.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The reported bill would not be applicable to the 
legislative branch under the Congressional Accountability Act, 
Public Law 104-1, because the bill would only affect certain 
Department of Veterans Affairs programs and benefits 
recipients.

                     Statement of Federal Mandates

    The reported bill would not establish a federal mandate 
under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, Public Law 104-4.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is 
printed in italics, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

          * * * * * * *

                       PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

          * * * * * * *

   CHAPTER 11--COMPENSATION FOR SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY OR DEATH

          * * * * * * *

                         SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

Sec. 1112. Presumptions relating to certain diseases and disabilities

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (c)(1) For the purposes of section 1110 of this title, and 
subject to the provisions of section 1113 of this title, a 
disease specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection becoming 
manifest in a radiation-exposed veteran shall be considered to 
have been incurred in or aggravated during active military, 
naval, or air service, notwithstanding that there is no record 
of evidence of such disease during a period of such service.
  (2) The diseases referred to in paragraph (1) of this 
subsection are the following:
          (A) Leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic 
        leukemia).
          * * * * * * *
          (P) Bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma.
          * * * * * * *

 CHAPTER 15--PENSION FOR NON-SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY OR DEATH OR 
                              FOR SERVICE

          * * * * * * *

                         SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 1502. Determinations with respect to disability

  (a) For the purposes of this chapter, a person shall be 
considered to be permanently and totally disabled if such a 
person is 65 years of age or older and a patient in a nursing 
home or, regardless of age, is unemployable as a result of 
disability reasonably certain to continue throughout the life 
of the disabled person, or is suffering from--
          (1) * * *
          * * * * * * *

                      CHAPTER 23--BURIAL BENEFITS

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 2303. Death in Department facility; plot allowance

  [(a) When a veteran dies in a Department facility (as defined 
in section 1701(4) of this title) to which the deceased was 
properly admitted for hospital, nursing home, or domiciliary 
care under section 1710 or 1711(a) of this title or in an 
institution at which the deceased veteran was receiving 
hospital care in accordance with section 1703 of this title or 
nursing home care under section 1720 of this title at the 
expense of the United States at the time of death, the 
Secretary--
          [(1) shall pay the actual cost (not to exceed $300) 
        of the burial and funeral or, within such limits, may 
        make contracts for such services without regard to the 
        laws requiring advertisement for proposals for supplies 
        and services for the Department; and
          [(2) shall, when such a death occurs in a State, 
        transport the body to the place of burial in the same 
        or any other State.]
  (a)(1) When a veteran dies in a facility described in 
paragraph (2), the Secretary shall--
          (A) pay the actual cost (not to exceed $300) of the 
        burial and funeral or, within such limits, may make 
        contracts for such services without regard to the laws 
        requiring advertisement for proposals for supplies and 
        services for the Department; and
          (B) when such a death occurs in a State, transport 
        the body to the place of burial in the same or any 
        other State.
  (2) A facility described in this paragraph is--
          (A) a Department facility (as defined in section 
        1701(4) of this title) to which the deceased was 
        properly admitted for hospital, nursing home, or 
        domiciliary care under section 1710 or 1711(a) of this 
        title; or
          (B) an institution at which the deceased veteran was, 
        at the time of death, receiving--
                  (i) hospital care in accordance with section 
                1703 of this title;
                  (ii) nursing home care under section 1720 of 
                this title; or
                  (iii) nursing home care pursuant to payments 
                made under section 1741 of this title.
          * * * * * * *

              PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

          * * * * * * *

     CHAPTER 30--ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

          * * * * * * *

SUBCHAPTER IV--TIME LIMITATION FOR USE OF ELIGIBILITY AND ENTITLEMENT; 
                 GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 3032. Limitations on educational assistance for certain 
                    individuals

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  [(d)(1) The amount of the monthly educational assistance 
allowance payable to an individual pursuing a cooperative 
program under this chapter shall be 80 percent of the monthly 
allowance otherwise payable to such individual under section 
3015 and section 3022, if applicable, of this title.
  [(2) For each month that an individual is paid a monthly 
educational assistance allowance for pursuit of a cooperative 
program under this chapter, the individual's entitlement under 
this chapter shall be charged at the rate of 80 percent of a 
month.]
  [(e)] (d)(1)(A) The amount of the educational assistance 
allowance payable under this chapter to an individual who 
enters into an agreement to pursue, and is pursuing, a program 
of education exclusively by correspondence is an amount equal 
to 55 percent of the established charge which the institution 
requires nonveterans to pay for the course or courses pursued 
by such individual.
          * * * * * * *
  [(f)] (e)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, 
each individual who is pursuing a program of education 
consisting exclusively of flight training approved as meeting 
the requirements of section 3034(d) of this title shall be paid 
an educational assistance allowance under this chapter in the 
amount equal to 60 percent of the established charges for 
tuition and fees which similarly circumstanced nonveterans 
enrolled in the same flight course are required to pay.
          * * * * * * *

Sec. 3034. Program administration

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (d) The Secretary may approve the pursuit of flight training 
(in addition to a course of flight training that may be 
approved under section 3680A(b) of this title) by an individual 
entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter 
if--
          (1) such training is generally accepted as necessary 
        for the attainment of a recognized vocational objective 
        in the field of aviation;
          (2) the individual possesses a valid private pilot's 
        license and meets the medical requirements necessary 
        for a commercial pilot's license on the first day of 
        such training and within 60 days after successfully 
        completing such training; and
          (3) the flight school courses meet Federal Aviation 
        Administration standards for such courses and are 
        approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the 
        State approving agency.
          * * * * * * *

          CHAPTER 32--POST-VIETNAM ERA EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

          * * * * * * *

                 SUBCHAPTER III--ENTITLEMENT; DURATION

Sec. 3231. Entitlement; loan eligibility

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  [(d)(1) The amount of the monthly benefit payable to an 
individual pursuing a cooperative program under this chapter 
shall be 80 percent of the monthly benefit otherwise payable to 
such individual (computed on the basis of the formula provided 
in subsection (a)(2) of this section).
  [(2) For each month that an individual is paid a monthly 
benefit payable for pursuit of a cooperative program under this 
chapter, the individual's entitlement under this chapter shall 
be charged at the rate 80 percent of a month.]
  [(e)] (d)(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of 
this subsection, the amount of the educational assistance 
benefits paid to an eligible veteran who is pursuing a program 
of education under this chapter while incarcerated in a 
Federal, State, or local penal institution for conviction of a 
felony may not exceed the lesser of (A) such amount as the 
Secretary determines, in accordance with regulations which the 
Secretary shall prescribe, is necessary to cover the cost of 
established charges for tuition and fees required of similarly 
circumstanced nonveterans enrolled in the same program and the 
cost of necessary supplies, books, and equipment, or (B) the 
applicable monthly benefit payment otherwise prescribed in this 
section or section 3233 of this title. The amount of the 
educational assistance benefits payable to a veteran while so 
incarcerated shall be reduced to the extent that the tuition 
and fees of the veteran for any course are paid under any 
Federal program (other than a program administered by the 
Secretary) or under any State or local program.
          * * * * * * *
  [(f)] (e)(1) Subject to subsection (a)(1) of this section, 
each individual who is pursuing a program of education 
consisting exclusively of flight training approved as meeting 
the requirements of section 3241(b) of this title shall be paid 
educational assistance under this chapter in the amount equal 
to 60 percent of the established charges for tuition and fees 
which similarly circumstanced nonveterans enrolled in the same 
flight course are required to pay.
          * * * * * * *

                     SUBCHAPTER IV--ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 3241. Requirements

  (a) * * *
  (b) The Secretary may approve the pursuit of flight training 
(in addition to a course of flight training that may be 
approved under section 3680A(b) of this title) by an individual 
entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter 
if--
          (1) such training is generally accepted as necessary 
        for the attainment of a recognized vocational objective 
        in the field of aviation;
          (2) the individual possesses a valid pilot's license 
        and meets the medical requirements necessary for a 
        commercial pilot's license on the first day of such 
        training and within 60 days after successfully 
        completing such training; and
          (3) the flight school courses meet Federal Aviation 
        Administration standards for such courses and are 
        approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the 
        State approving agency.
          * * * * * * *

              CHAPTER 34--VETERANS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

          * * * * * * *

 SUBCHAPTER IV--PAYMENTS TO ELIGIBLE VETERANS; VETERAN-STUDENT SERVICES

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 3482. Computation of educational assistance allowances

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (f) The educational assistance allowance of an eligible 
veteran pursuing a course [in part] by open circuit television 
shall be computed in the same manner that such allowance is 
computed under subsection (e) of this section for an 
independent study program.
          * * * * * * *

     CHAPTER 35--SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

          * * * * * * *

                  SUBCHAPTER III--PROGRAM OF EDUCATION

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 3523. Disapproval of enrollment in certain courses

  (a) The Secretary shall not approve the enrollment of an 
eligible person in--
          (1) any bartending course or personality development 
        course;
          * * * * * * *
          (4) any independent study program except an 
        accredited independent study program (including open 
        circuit television) leading to a standard college 
        degree.
          * * * * * * *
  (c) The Secretary shall not approve the enrollment of an 
eligible person in any course to be pursued by [radio or by 
open circuit television, except that the Secretary may approve 
the enrollment of an eligible person in a course, to be pursued 
in residence, leading to a standard college degree which 
includes, as an integral part thereof, subjects offered through 
open circuit television.] radio.
          * * * * * * *

              SUBCHAPTER IV--PAYMENTS TO ELIGIBLE PERSONS

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 3532. Computation of educational assistance allowance

  (a) * * *
  (b) The educational assistance allowance to be paid on behalf 
of an eligible person who is pursuing a full-time program of 
education which consists of institutional courses and alternate 
phases of training in a business or industrial establishment 
with the training in the business or industrial establishment 
being strictly supplemental to the institutional portion, shall 
be computed at the rate of [$327] $404 per month.
          * * * * * * *

           CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

          * * * * * * *

                 subchapter ii--miscellaneous provisions

3681.  Limitations on educational assistance.
     * * * * * * *
[3689.  Period of operation for approval.]
     * * * * * * *

                 SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 3675. Approval of accredited courses

  (a) * * *
  [(b) As a condition to approval under this section, the State 
approving agency must find that adequate records are kept by 
the educational institution to show the progress of each 
eligible person or veteran and must include as a minimum 
(except for attendance) the requirements set forth in section 
3676(c)(7) of this title. The State approving agency must also 
find that the educational institution maintains a written 
record of the previous education and training of the eligible 
person or veteran and clearly indicates that appropriate credit 
has been given by the institution for previous education and 
training, with the training period shortened proportionately 
and the eligible person or veteran and the Secretary so 
notified.]
  (b) As a condition of approval under this section, the State 
approving agency must find the following:
          (1) Adequate records, as prescribed by the State 
        approving agency, are kept by the educational 
        institution to show the student's progress and grades 
        and that satisfactory standards relating to progress 
        and conduct are enforced.
          (2) The educational institution maintains a written 
        record of the previous education and training of the 
        eligible person or veteran that clearly indicates that 
        appropriate credit has been given by the educational 
        institution for previous education and training, with 
        the training period shortened proportionately.
          (3) The educational institution and its approved 
        courses meet the criteria of paragraphs (1), (2), and 
        (3) of section 3676(c) of this title.
          * * * * * * *

                SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 3680A. Disapproval of enrollment in certain courses

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (c) The Secretary shall not approve the enrollment of an 
eligible veteran in any course to be pursued by [radio or by 
open circuit television, except that the Secretary may approve 
the enrollment of an eligible veteran in a course, to be 
pursued in residence, leading to a standard college degree 
which includes, as an integral part thereof, subjects offered 
through open circuit television.] radio.
  (d)(1) * * *
  (2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection does not apply with 
respect to the enrollment of a veteran--
          (A) in a course offered pursuant to section 3019, 
        3034(a)(3), 3234, or 3241(a)(2) of this title;
          (B) in a farm cooperative training course; or
          (C) in a course described in section [3689(b)(6)] 
        3680A(g) of this title.
  (e) The Secretary shall not approve the enrollment of an 
eligible veteran in a course not leading to a standard college 
degree offered by a proprietary profit or proprietary nonprofit 
educational institution when--
          (1) the educational institution has been operating 
        for less than two years;
          (2) the course is offered at a branch of the 
        educational institution and the branch has been 
        operating for less than two years; or
          (3) following either a change in ownership or a 
        complete move outside its original general locality the 
        educational institution does not retain substantially 
        the same faculty, student body, and courses, as 
        determined in accordance with regulations the Secretary 
        shall prescribe, as before the change in ownership or 
        the move outside the general locality.
  (f) The Secretary shall not approve the enrollment of an 
eligible veteran in a course as a part of a program of 
education offered by an educational institution when the course 
is provided under contract by another educational institution 
or entity and--
          (1) the Secretary would be barred under subsection 
        (e) from approving the enrollment of an eligible 
        veteran in the course of the educational institution or 
        entity providing the course under contract; or
          (2) the educational institution or entity providing 
        the course under contract has not obtained approval for 
        the course under this chapter.
  (g) Notwithstanding subsections (e) and (f), the Secretary 
may approve the enrollment of an eligible veteran in a course 
approved under this chapter if the course is offered by an 
educational institution under contract with the Department of 
Defense or the Department of Transportation and is given on or 
immediately adjacent to a military base, Coast Guard station, 
National Guard facility, or facility of the Selected Reserve.
          * * * * * * *

[Sec. 3689. Period of operation for approval

  [(a) The Secretary shall not approve the enrollment of an 
eligible veteran or eligible person in any course offered by an 
educational institution when such course has been in operation 
for less than two years.
  [(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to--
          [(1) any course to be pursued in a public or other 
        tax-supported educational institution;
          [(2) any course which is offered by an educational 
        institution which has been in operation for more than 
        two years, if such course is similar in character to 
        the instruction previously given by such institution;
          [(3) any course which has been offered by an 
        institution for a period of more than two years, 
        notwithstanding the institution has moved to another 
        location within the same general locality, or has made 
        a complete move with substantially the same faculty, 
        curricula, and students, without change in ownership;
          [(4) any course which is offered by a nonprofit 
        educational institution of college level and which is 
        recognized for credit toward a standard college degree;
          [(5) any course offered by a proprietary nonprofit 
        educational institution which qualifies to carry out an 
        approved program of education under the provisions of 
        subchapter V of chapter 34 of this title (including 
        those courses offered at other than the institution's 
        principal location) if the institution offering such 
        course has been in operation for more than two years; 
        or
          [(6) any course offered by an educational institution 
        under a contract with the Department of Defense that 
        (A) is given on, or immediately adjacent to, a military 
        base; (B) is available only to active duty military 
        personnel and/or their dependents and members of the 
        Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve eligible for 
        educational assistance under chapter 106 of title 10; 
        and (C) has been approved by the State approving agency 
        of the State in which the base is located.
  [(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b)(1), 
(2), (3), or (4) of this section, the provisions of subsection 
(a) shall apply to any course offered by a branch or extension 
of--
          [(1) a public or other tax-supported institution 
        where the branch or extension is located outside of the 
        area of the taxing jurisdiction providing support to 
        such institution; or
          [(2) a proprietary profit or proprietary nonprofit 
        educational institution where the branch or extension 
        is located beyond the normal commuting distance of such 
        institution.
The Secretary may waive the requirements of this subsection, in 
whole or in part, if the Secretary determines, pursuant to 
regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, it to be in 
the interest of the eligible veteran and the Federal 
Government.]
          * * * * * * *

              CHAPTER 37--HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

          * * * * * * *

               SUBCHAPTER III--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Sec. 3720. Powers of Secretary

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (h)(1) The Secretary may, upon such terms and conditions as 
the Secretary considers appropriate, issue or approve the 
issuance of, and guarantee the timely payment of principal and 
interest on, certificates or other securities evidencing an 
interest in a pool of mortgage loans made in connection with 
the sale of properties acquired under this chapter.
  (2) The Secretary may not under this subsection guarantee the 
payment of principal and interest on certificates or other 
securities issued or approved after December 31, [1996] 1997.
          * * * * * * *

               PART IV--GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

          * * * * * * *

          CHAPTER 53--SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO BENEFITS

Sec.
5301.  Nonassignability and exempt status of benefits.
     * * * * * * *
5313.  Limitation on payment of compensation and dependency and 
          indemnity compensation to persons incarcerated for conviction 
          of a felony.
5313A.  Limitation on payment of clothing allowance to incarcerated 
          veterans.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 5313A. Limitation on payment of clothing allowance to incarcerated 
                    veterans

  In the case of a veteran who is incarcerated in a Federal, 
State, or local penal institution for a period in excess of 60 
days and who is furnished clothing without charge by the 
institution, the amount of an annual clothing allowance payable 
to such veteran under section 1162 of this title shall be 
reduced on a pro rata basis for each day on which the veteran 
was so incarcerated during the 12-month period preceding the 
date on which payment of the allowance would be due. This 
section shall be carried out under regulations prescribed by 
the Secretary.
          * * * * * * *
                              ----------                              


     SECTION 402 OF THE VETERNS' BENEFITS IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 1994

SEC. 402. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (e) Reports.--(1) * * *
  (2) [Not later than 18 months after such date] Not later than 
December 31, 1996, the commission shall submit to the Secretary 
and to such committees a report on such study. The report shall 
include the following:
          (A) The findings and conclusions of the commission, 
        including its findings and conclusions with respect to 
        the matters referred to in subsection (c).
          (B) The recommendations of the commission for means 
        of improving the Department of Veterans Affairs system 
        for the disposition of claims for veterans benefits.
          (C) Such other information and recommendations with 
        respect to the system as the commission considers 
        appropriate.
          * * * * * * *
                              ----------                              


              STEWART B. MCKINNEY HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT

          * * * * * * *

    TITLE VII--EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND COMMUNITY SERVICES PROGRAMS

          * * * * * * *

               Subtitle C--Job Training for the Homeless

          * * * * * * *

SEC. 738. HOMELESS VETERANS' REINTEGRATION PROJECTS.

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section the 
following amounts:
          (A) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1993.
          (B) $12,000,000 for fiscal year 1994.
          (C) $14,000,000 for fiscal year 1995.
          (D) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1996.
          (E) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1997.
          (F) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1998.
          (G) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1999.
  (2) Funds obligated for any fiscal year to carry out this 
section may be expended in that fiscal year and the succeeding 
fiscal year.
          * * * * * * *

SEC. 741. TERMINATION.

  The provisions of this subtitle other than section 738 and 
740 shall terminate on [December 31, 1997] October 1, 1995.
          * * * * * * *
                              ----------                              


                      TITLE 10, UNITED STATES CODE

          * * * * * * *

                     Subtitle E--Reserve Components

          * * * * * * *

  PART IV--TRAINING FOR RESERVE COMPONENTS AND EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE 
                                PROGRAMS

          * * * * * * *

   CHAPTER 1606--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR MEMBERS OF THE SELECTED 
                                RESERVE

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 16131. Educational assistance program: establishment; amount

  (a) * * *
  (b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subsections 
(d) through [(g)] (f), each educational assistance program 
established under subsection (a) shall provide for payment by 
the Secretary concerned, through the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs, to each person entitled to educational assistance 
under this chapter who is pursuing a program of education of an 
educational assistance allowance at the following rates:
          (A) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  [(e)(1) The amount of the monthly educational assistance 
allowance payable to a person pursuing a cooperative program 
under this chapter shall be 80 percent of the monthly allowance 
otherwise payable to such person under this chapter.
  [(2) For each month that a person is paid a monthly 
educational assistance allowance for pursuit of a cooperative 
program under this chapter, the person's entitlement under this 
chapter shall be charged at the rate of 80 percent of a month.]
  [(f)] (e)(1)(A) The amount of the educational assistance 
allowance payable under this chapter to a person who enters 
into an agreement to pursue, and is pursuing, a program of 
education exclusively by correspondence is an amount equal to 
55 percent of the established charge which the institution 
requires nonveterans to pay for the course or courses pursued 
by such person.
          * * * * * * *
  [(g)] (f)(1) Each individual who is pursuing a program of 
education consisting exclusively of flight training approved as 
meeting the requirements of section 16136(c) of this title 
shall be paid an educational assistance allowance under this 
chapter in the amount equal to 60 percent of the established 
charges for tuition and fees which similarly circumstanced 
nonveterans enrolled in the same flight course are required to 
pay.
          * * * * * * *
  [(h)] (g)(1)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs shall approve individualized tutorial 
assistance for any person entitled to educational assistance 
under this chapter who--
          (i) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  [(i)] (h) A program of education in a course of instruction 
beyond the baccalaureate degree level shall be provided under 
this chapter, subject to the availability of appropriations.
  [(j)] (i)(1) In the case of a person who has a skill or 
specialty designated by the Secretary concerned as a skill or 
specialty in which there is a critical shortage of personnel or 
for which it is difficult to recruit or, in the case of 
critical units, retain personnel, the Secretary concerned may 
increase the rate of the educational assistance allowance 
applicable to that person to such rate in excess of the rate 
prescribed under subparagraphs (A) through (D) of subsection 
(b)(1) as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate, but 
the amount of any such increase may not exceed $350 per month.
          * * * * * * *

Sec. 16136. Administration of program

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (c)(1) * * *
  (2) This subsection shall not apply to a course of flight 
training that commences on or after October 1, 1994 on the 
first day of such training and within 60 days after 
successfully completing such training.
          * * * * * * *
                              ----------                              


                        ACT OF FEBRUARY 13, 1996

 AN ACT To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the authority 
of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out certain programs and 
 activities, to require certain reports from the Secretary of Veterans 
                    Affairs, and for other purposes.

          * * * * * * *

                    TITLE I--EXTENSIONS OF AUTHORITY

          * * * * * * *

SEC. 102. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITIES UNDER OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW.

  (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (d) Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Projects.--(1) * * *
  [(2) Section 741 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 11450) is amended by 
striking out ``October 1, 1995'' and inserting in lieu thereof 
``December 31, 1997''.]
          * * * * * * *
                              ----------                              


                 SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923

  CHAP. 283.--AN ACT For the creation of an American Battle Monuments 
 Commission to erect suitable memorials commemorating the services of 
        the American soldier in Europe, and for other purposes.

  Sec. 5. (a) * * *
  (b)(1) * * *
  (2)(A) Any funds accumulated by the sponsors for the 
maintenance and repair of a war memorial for which the 
Commission assumes responsibility under this subsection may be 
transferred to the Commission for use in carrying out the 
purpose of this Act. Any such funds so transferred shall be 
deposited by the Commission in the manner provided for in 
section 7.
  (B) In assuming responsibility for a war memorial under 
paragraph (1), the Commission may enter into arrangements with 
the sponsors of the memorial to provide for the repair or long-
term maintenance of the memorial. Any funds transferred to the 
Commission for the purpose of this subparagraph shall, in lieu 
of subparagraph (A), be deposited by the Commission in the fund 
established by paragraph (3).
  (3)(A) There is established in the Treasury a fund which 
shall be available to the Commission for expenses for the 
maintenance and repair of memorials with respect to which the 
Commission enters into arrangements under paragraph (2)(B). The 
fund shall consist of (i) amounts deposited, and interest and 
proceeds credited, under subparagraph (B), and (ii) obligations 
obtained under subparagraph (C).
  (B) The Commission shall deposit in the fund such amounts 
from private contributions as may be accepted under paragraph 
(2)(B). The Secretary of the Treasury shall credit to the fund 
the interest on, and the proceeds from sale or redemption of, 
obligations held in the fund.
  (C) The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest any portion of 
the fund that, as determined by the Commission, is not required 
to meet current expenses. Each investment shall be made in an 
interest bearing obligation of the United States or an 
obligation guaranteed as to principal and interest by the 
United States that, as determined by the Commission, has a 
maturity suitable for the fund.
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