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105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     105-627
_______________________________________________________________________


 
               VETERANS BENEFITS IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1998

_______________________________________________________________________


 July 15, 1998.--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. 4110]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4110) to provide a cost-of-living adjustment in 
rates of compensation paid to veterans with service-connected 
disabilities, to make various improvements in education, 
housing, and cemetery programs of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                              Introduction

    On June 10, 1998, the Subcommittee on Benefits met to 
receive testimony on H.R. 2887, a bill to amend chapter 37 of 
title 38 to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to use 
full and open competition for the award of VA housing 
management contracts and H.R. 3212, a bill to amend chapter 72 
to authorize staggered early retirement for current judges of 
the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals.
    On June 18, 1998, the Subcommittee on Benefits met to 
receive testimony on a draft bill which would provide a cost of 
living increase for those veterans and survivors receiving 
compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation and related 
benefits. The draft bill proposed several changes to programs 
involving education, home loan guaranties, state cemetery 
grants, burial benefits, pension payments and Disabled Veterans 
Outreach Programs Specialists. The draft bill also contained 
provisions taken from H.R. 2887 and H.R. 3212.
    Following the hearing, the Subcommittee on Benefits met and 
recommended the draft bill to the full Committee by unanimous 
voice vote.
    On June 24, 1998, the full Committee met and ordered H.R. 
4110 reported favorably by unanimous voice vote.

                      Summary of the Reported Bill

    H.R. 4110 would:
    1. Provide a cost of living adjustment for service-
connected compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation 
(DIC) and related benefits computed using the same percentage 
increase as given to Social Security recipients.
    2. Make several changes to existing education programs 
including a change in the way schools calculate the number of 
veterans attending under the GI Bill for whom they receive an 
administrative fee; make advance payment of 40 percent of the 
work study allowance optional to the veteran; allow VA to 
consider up to 12 hours of academic credits granted for life 
experiences as meeting the eligibility requirements for 
Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB); require a veteran to hold an FAA 
Class II physical at the beginning and end of a VA-paid flight 
training program; exempt job training programs operated by 
Federal, State and local governments from the wage requirements 
required for VA approval; and improve VA education outreach and 
pre-discharge counseling by the military services.
    3. Make changes to the retirement system of the Court of 
Veterans Appeals to allow early staggered retirement of current 
judges; determine rates of pay for retired judges and survivors 
annuities; prescribe conditions for the recall of retired 
judges; and request a report on merging the Court's retirement 
and annuity systems with other federal judiciary annuity 
systems.
    4. Make changes to several different programs of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor 
including increasing the federal share of the cost to construct 
and equip state veterans' cemeteries to 100 percent; changing 
the way VA awards contracts for property management; making the 
loan guaranty program for members of the Selected Reserves 
permanent and providing them with burial flags; reauthorizing 
VA to retain pension funds in excess of $90 paid to veterans 
without dependents and residing in VA nursing homes; removing 
the Vietnam-era status requirement as a qualification to be a 
Disabled Veterans Outreach Programs Specialist; and authorizing 
payment of dividends to National Service Life Insurance ``H'' 
policy holders.

                       Background and Discussion

                                TITLE I

Section 101--Increase in rates of disability compensation and 
        dependency and indemnity compensation

    This section would increase, effective December 1, 1998, 
the rates of compensation forservice-connected disabilities and 
the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for surviving 
spouses and children of veterans who die of service-connected causes, 
as well as the additional amounts for dependents and survivors, and 
clothing allowances for certain veterans. The percentage of increase 
would be the same as that automatically received by Social Security 
recipients.
    As of May, 1998, there were approximately 2.3 million 
veterans receiving compensation. According to VA budget 
estimates, the Department will expend about $14.4 billion in 
fiscal year 1999 for compensation-related benefits. According 
to VA budget documents, there are about 328,000 dependents 
receiving DIC, and VA will expend $3.3 billion in fiscal year 
1999 for DIC benefits.

                                TITLE II

Section 201--Calculation of reporting fee based on total veteran 
        enrollment during a calendar year

    Educational institutions are required to submit certain 
reports and certifications to the VA regarding veteran-students 
training at their schools. Once a year, the VA pays the schools 
a ``reporting fee'' to cover, in part, costs associated with 
the reports. Under current law, the amount sent to an 
individual school is determined by multiplying $7 by the number 
of veterans enrolled in the school on October 31 of the year. 
Section 201 would base the reporting fee on the number of 
veterans who enroll in a school during an entire year rather 
than relying on the one-day ``snapshot.''
    School officials have pointed out that many veterans for 
whom they submit reports are never counted under the 
``snapshot'' procedure because they enroll only for the spring 
or summer term and thus aren't enrolled on October 31. The 
Committee believes section 201 would provide a fairer, more 
accurate count of veteran-students.

Section 202--Election of advance payment of work-study allowance

    Under VA's work-study program, veteran-students who 
demonstrate need are paid the minimum hourly wage by the VA to 
do veteran-related work in VA regional offices, educational 
institutions, and at DOD or National Guard facilities. The VA 
and the veteran-student agree upon the number of hours to be 
worked during a semester, and current law requires that work-
study students be paid 40 percent of his/her work-study 
agreement in advance. Because not all veteran work-study 
students want an advance payment, section 202 would eliminate 
this requirement. Those who prefer to be paid the 40 percent in 
advance would continue to have this option available.

Section 203--Alternative to twelve semester hour equivalency 
        requirement

    Under current law, servicemembers must complete the 
requirements for a high school diploma (or GED) or complete the 
equivalent of 12 college semester hours before they leave 
active duty in order to be eligible for their Montgomery GI 
Bill benefits.
    Today, many colleges grant credit hours for life 
experiences, but current law doesn't permit these types of 
credits to be used to establish eligibility for the GI Bill. 
The Committee believes that if a college is giving the veteran 
credit for life and work experiences, that should be sufficient 
to fulfill the requirement for GI Bill eligibility. Section 203 
would change current law to allow for this.

Section 204--Medical evidence for flight training requirements

    This section would change ``pilot's license'' to ``pilot's 
certificate.'' Current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 
regulations refer to pilot's certificates rather than pilot's 
licenses.
    Section 204 would also amend current law by requiring a 
veteran-student to have the required medical certification 
level only on the day he begins a flight training course. 
Because of FAA requirements, the veteran will also have to meet 
the maximum medical certification requirement when he takes the 
test for his flight certification, but he will not be penalized 
if his initial medical certification is automatically 
downgraded for a period of time.
     By way of background, the FAA requires pilots to have 
valid medical certificates appropriate for their level of 
flying. These certificates range from the most stringent (first 
class) to the least stringent (third class). A first class 
certificate automatically downgrades to a second class 
certificate after six months unless the pilot renews the 
physical exam, which confirms that his health status makes him 
eligible for a first class certificate. Similarly, a second 
class certificate becomes a third class certificate after 12 
months unless a physical confirms the pilot's eligibility for a 
second class certificate.
    The FAA requires at least a second class medical 
certificate for most pilot certificates that lead to jobs in 
aviation, but the individual is not required to obtain this 
certificate until he takes the test needed for the pilot 
certificate. If the individual doesn't pass the physical, he 
doesn't receive his pilot's certificate, and he may have spent 
a significant amount of money on flight training without 
achieving his goal of becoming a commercial-rated pilot.
    To ensure that veterans who take flight training do not 
waste their VA education entitlement because they can't pass 
the physical requirements needed to be rated as a commercial 
pilot at the end of their training, current law requires 
veterans to have the medical certificate necessary to obtain a 
pilot certificate from the first day and throughout their 
training. This requirement, however, has had an unintended 
effect on veteran-students.
    The VA has told the Committee that, too often, and 
understandably, veteran-students forget that the level of the 
medical certificate they qualify for at the beginning of their 
course of training automatically downgrades after a period of 
time (first class after six months and second class after 12 
months). Consequently, for example, a veteran who begins 
training with a required second class health certificate, but 
whose training lasts 15 months, and who doesn't upgrade his 
medical classification when it downgrades to third class after 
12 months, is out of compliance with VA requirements for the 
last three months of his training. As a result, he is 
ineligible for VA benefits during those final three months, and 
VA will create an overpayment for any benefits paid during that 
period. The Committee believes this change will relieve the 
Department of the burdensome collection process while still 
ensuring that veterans who desire flight training are 
physically qualified for the training.

Section 205--Waiver of wage increase and minimum payment rate 
        requirements for government job training approval

    Under current law, an on-job training program must 
guarantee a wage increase during the veteran's training period, 
and the wage paid in the final month of training must be 85 
percent of the wages paid to a fully trained employee in order 
to be approved by VA. The VA has told the Committee that many 
excellent programs, particularly in the fields of law 
enforcement, public safety, and health run by State and local 
governments, cannot be approved because trainees do not receive 
a wage increase until training has been completed. Section 205 
waives the wage increase requirement and the 85 percent final 
month wage requirement only for those on-job programs offered 
by Federal, State or local governments. The Committee shares 
the VA's view that these training programs, which will still 
have to be approved by the VA or State Approving Agencies, are 
sound and should be available to veterans.

Sections 206 and 207--Expansion of education outreach services; 
        information on minimum requirements for education benefits for 
        members of the Armed Forces discharged early from duty for the 
        convenience of the government

    College and VA officials have told the Committee that 
active duty servicemembers and veteran-students are not well 
informed regarding their GI Bill benefits. These sections would 
require the VA and the individual service branches to provide 
additional information to servicemembers who are participating 
in the Montgomery GI Bill while they are still on active duty. 
The Committee expects that the VA and service branches will 
work together to ensure full and effective compliance with the 
requirements of this section.

                               TITLE III

    The Judicial Review Act of 1988, Public Law 100-687, 
established the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals as an Article I 
court in 1988. The Committee attempted to replicate many of the 
features of the federal Tax Court when drafting the current 
provisions governing the Court of Veterans Appeals. The Court's 
seven judges are appointed by the President for a 15-year term 
and may be reappointed. The Court provided a legislative 
proposal to the Committee on June 16, 1997, which was 
introduced by Mr. Stump and Mr. Evans as H.R. 3212. The 
sections in H.R. 4110 affecting the Court reflect the proposals 
in H.R. 3212 with relatively minor changes. In making these 
changes, the Committee has attempted to create a personnel 
system that provides equity relative to other federal court 
systems and encourages efficient management of the Court's 
workload.
    Because the Court was established in 1989 and the initial 
appointments to the Court were made relatively close in time to 
one another, five of the remaining six original appointees will 
be eligible for retirement within an 11-month period in 2004 to 
2005. The Committee is very concerned that such an en masse 
departure would shut down the Court, with disastrous 
consequences for veterans whose appeals are pending.
    The Committee is also concerned about the need to provide 
the Court with additional flexibility to manage its caseload in 
wayssimilar to other federal courts. In the last two years, the 
Court's workload has been steadily increasing due to increased output 
from the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA). In 1990, the first full year 
of Court operations, there were 1,261 appeals to the Court with a 
pending backlog of 964. Appeals have fluctuated since then, largely 
because of changes in the output by the Board. By 1997, there were 
2,229 appeals and a backlog of 2,261. Since the production trend at the 
Board indicates no decrease in decisions, the Committee assumes the 
Court's workload will remain at the current high levels. The Court's 
average caseload generally exceeds those carried by judges in the 
federal appeals court system.
    To smooth the workload for active judges and to retain the 
court's experience base, nearly all retired federal judges 
volunteer to continue working on a part-time basis. They 
usually carry about 25 percent of a normal caseload and in 
return, receive retired pay equal to that of an active judge. 
Judges who do not volunteer for part-time work while retired do 
not receive the increased retired pay. The Committee believes 
that it is important to provide the Court and its retired 
judges the same authority and responsibilities as other federal 
court systems as an effective tool to prevent lengthening the 
time a veteran must wait for a decision on an appeal.
    The Committee does not intend the Court's ability to recall 
retired judges to be a means to increase the number of active 
members of the Court through non-legislative means. The 
Committee believes the authority to recall retired judges 
should be used only when necessary to avoid increased delays in 
decisions on claims.

Section 301--Continuation in office of judges pending confirmation for 
        a second term

    The Committee recognizes the confirmation process is 
sometimes lengthy. To prevent an unnecessary break in service 
when a judge is nominated for an additional term, this section 
would allow a sitting judge to remain on the bench for up to 
one year, pending Senate confirmation.

Section 302--Authority to prescribe rules and regulations

    Section 302 would allow the Court to prescribe rules and 
regulations applicable to chapter 72, title 38 U.S.C., 
subchapters III and V.

Section 311--Recall of retired judges

    This section requires a retiring judge of the Court of 
Veterans Appeals to make an irrevocable decision at the time of 
retirement as to whether he or she will be available for recall 
to service as a judge of the Court. Section 311 also authorizes 
the Chief Judge of the Court to recall retired judges for 
periods of up to 90 days, or for up to 180 days with the 
written consent of the retired judge, and establishes 
conditions for removal from recall status and the pay of 
recall-eligible judges.

Section 312--Calculation of years of service as a judge

    Section 312 directs that 183 days or more of service be 
counted as a full year in the calculation of years of service 
for the purposes of retirement.

Section 313--Judges' retired pay

    This section would authorize pay for recall-eligible 
retired judges at the rate paid to active judges of the Court, 
and those who are not recall-eligible at the rate of pay on the 
date of retirement. Increases in the salary of active judges 
would also be provided to recall-eligible judges. Judges whose 
retirement benefit is less than the salary of office and who 
are available for recall would be eligible for periodic 
increases provided to other federal retirees as long as retired 
pay does not exceed the pay of active judges.

Section 314--Exemption of retirement fund from sequestration orders

    Provides for treatment of the Court's retirement fund on 
the same basis as the Court of Claims Judges' Retirement fund 
and other federal retirees' retirement funds.

Section 315--Limitation on activities of retired judges

    The Committee believes that it is inappropriate for a 
retired judge of the Court to represent veterans while drawing 
retired pay because such representation creates a potential 
conflict of interest, especially if the judge is recall-
eligible. Therefore, section 315 requires forfeiture of retired 
pay for any period, plus one year, during which a retired judge 
of the Court of Veterans Appeals represents a client in making 
a claim for veterans benefits against the United States 
government.

Section 316--Early retirement authority for current judges in order to 
        provide for staggered terms of judges

    The section would authorize early retirement of one judge 
per year for the years 1999 through 2003. This provision would 
eliminate the potential for en masse retirements and provide 
for an orderly replacement of the current panel of judges. The 
provision would also specify the computation of a reduced 
retired pay for judges who retire early. Under the formula, a 
judge's age and years of judicial service would be divided by 
80 to yield a percentage to be applied to the retirement 
benefit currently authorized for judges of the Court.

Section 317--Adjustments for survivor annuities

    This section would provide for a cost-of-living increase 
for the survivors of deceased judges.

Section 318--Reports on retirement program modifications

    This section directs the Court to submit a report on the 
feasibility of merging the retirement and survivor annuity 
plans with another federal court retirement and survivor 
annuity program.

Section 321--Renaming the Court of Veterans Appeals

    The Court is often perceived as being part of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, a mistake made even within the 
Judicial Branch of the government. The current name of the 
Court also fails to adequately reflect the level of 
jurisdiction of the Court. Therefore, the Committee believes a 
change to the ``United States Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims'' is appropriate.

                                TITLE IV

Section 401

    This section of the bill requires the Department of 
Veterans Affairs' Housing Loan Program, as authorized by 
chapter 37 of title 38, United States Code, to comply with the 
requirements of the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) and 
the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). In general, 
departments and agencies of the Federal government, including 
the Department of Veterans Affairs, are required to comply with 
these requirements. Becauseof the broad discretion given to the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs under 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3720, VA has not 
been required to comply with these customary contracting requirements 
with respect to the home loan program.
    Among the contracts which VA is likely to enter into 
regarding the home loan program are contracts for property 
management activities. These activities are customarily 
required by the Department when the VA has taken possession in 
a foreclosure proceeding of residential property insured by VA. 
Section 401 will provide that persons who contract with VA to 
provide property management services will have the rights and 
protections of CICA and FAR available to them as do other 
persons who contract with VA to provide other goods or services 
to the Department.

Section 402--Permanent eligibility of members of the Selected Reserve 
        for veterans housing loans

    The Department's authority to guarantee home loans for 
members of the National Guard and Reserve components will 
expire on September 30, 1999. Under current law, these members 
pay an additional .75 percent funding fee, which will also 
expire in 1999. The Department has guaranteed about 43,000 
loans for members of the Selected Reserve of which 67 percent 
were made to first-time buyers. VA data indicates that the 
foreclosure rate on mortgages to members of the Selected 
Reserve is approximately one-half that experienced on other VA 
loan guaranty programs. Given that success, the Committee 
believes that making the program permanent is one small way the 
nation can recognize the increased responsibilities being 
placed on the Selected Reserves.

Section 403--Furnishing burial flags for deceased members and former 
        members of the Selected Reserve

    Members of the Selected Reserve are not eligible for a 
burial flag unless they are eligible for retirement. To 
recognize the expanded role of the Selected Reserve, the 
Committee believes that providing eligibility for a burial flag 
to all members of the National Guard and Reserve components is 
appropriate. Section 403 would authorize a burial flag for all 
members of the National Guard and Reserves, not otherwise 
eligible, who have completed at least one term of enlistment 
under honorable conditions or died while a member of the Guard 
or Reserves.
    The Committee is aware that the Selected Reserve does not 
issue discharges in a manner similar to the active duty 
military services, and the various Reserve components are not 
consistent among themselves in administering the discharge 
process. While the Committee understands this inconsistency 
will make it difficult for the Department to administer the 
provision, the Committee expects the Department of Veterans 
Affairs to work closely and aggressively with the Department of 
Defense and the National Guard Bureau to implement this 
provision in a timely and equitable fashion. Should a uniform 
solution prove administratively burdensome for the Department, 
the Committee accepts that the concept of self-certification by 
the member's survivors may be sufficient to qualify for the 
benefit.

Section 404--State Cemetery Grants Program

    On May 9, 1997, the Department of Veterans Affairs proposed 
legislation to modify the existing State Cemetery Grants 
Program to authorize VA to pay up to 100 percent of the cost of 
constructing and equipping state veterans' cemeteries. Under 
the current program, VA may pay up to 50 percent of the cost of 
land and construction. According to the VA, states which have 
made use of the program have always used either existing state 
or donated properties for state veterans' cemeteries, thus 
reducing the cost to the state. Therefore, the Committee 
believes that requiring the state to furnish the property will 
not pose an impediment to expanded state participation in the 
revised program.
    When the Department first proposed this program change, 
officials stated on several occasions that the state grants 
program was intended to replace construction of new national 
cemeteries. The Committee strongly disagreed with that concept 
and told the Department that construction of new national 
cemeteries must continue to be a high priority, in addition to 
the state grants program. The Department has changed its 
position and has stated its agreement with the Committee's 
position that the state grants program is a supplement to a 
continuing national cemetery construction program. The 
Committee expects the Department to rapidly complete an update 
of the 1987 and 1994 studies which established the areas of 
greatest need for veterans cemeteries and to implement the 
results in the next strategic plan.

Section 405--Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists

    This section changes the formula used by the Veterans 
Employment and Training Service (VETS) to determine the number 
of DVOPS authorized to each state. The current formula is one 
DVOP for each 6,900 Vietnam-era veterans, veterans who enlisted 
after 1975, and disabled veterans in a state. The Committee 
believes it would be more appropriate to use a formula based on 
the working age veteran population. The Committee notes that in 
testimony before the Subcommittee on Benefits, the Vietnam 
Veterans of America, as well as all other veterans service 
organizations presenting testimony, expressed support for the 
provision.
    Current law also requires that all DVOPS be disabled 
veterans of the Vietnam-era. The Committee believes that since 
DVOPS must be able to relate to veterans seeking employment and 
to perform other duties such as participating in the Transition 
Assistance Program, it is appropriate to open the position to a 
wider range of disabled veterans. Therefore, section 405 opens 
DVOPS positions to any disabled veteran.

Section 406--Permanent authority to use for operating expenses of the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities amounts 
        available by reason of the limitation on pension for veterans 
        receiving nursing home care

    VA's authority to retain pension amounts in excess of $90 
paid to veterans with no dependents and residing in VA nursing 
homes expired on September 30, 1997. The retained funds were 
used to support the operations of the facility in which the 
pensioner was residing. This provision treats pensioners 
residing in VA nursing in the same manner as those living in 
Medicaid-supported, non-VA nursing homes.

Section 407--Members of the Board of Veterans' Appeals

    This section authorizes Board of Veterans' Appeals members 
to also be called ``veterans administrative law judges'' and 
requires that allmembers be in good standing with a state bar. 
Section 407 also provides reversion rights to civil service attorneys 
who are members of the Board and whose appointments to the Board are 
terminated. Under current law, only career or career-conditional 
attorneys are granted the right to revert to a staff attorney position 
on the Board. Since most attorneys are employed by the federal 
government under excepted service rules, many Board members are not 
covered by the current reversion provisions. The Secretary will retain 
the right to deny reversion if the terminated Board member is not 
qualified for a staff attorney position.

Section 408--National Service Life Insurance Program

    Section 408 would authorize the Department to issue 
dividends, when appropriate, to the holders of World War II era 
National Service Life Insurance (NSLI) series ``H'' policies. 
These policies were issued to disabled veterans who had not 
taken advantage of the standard NSLI policies during their 
enlistment. All other NSLI policies issue dividends, generally 
ranging up to a few hundred dollars per year. Since the 
predicted mortality among this group of 1,400 disabled veterans 
has been lower than expected, VA states there is sufficient 
excess funds to issue dividends to ``H'' policy holders. 
Additionally, since VA is authorized to issue dividends to 
other NSLI policy holders from the excess income, the Committee 
on Veterans' Affairs believes it is appropriate to treat ``H'' 
policy holders in the same manner.

                      Section-By-Section Analysis

    Section 1 states the title of the Act is the ``Veterans 
Benefits Improvement Act of 1998''.
    Section 2 states that all references made in the Act are to 
title 38, United States Code unless otherwise specified, and 
amends title 38, United States Code.

                                TITLE I

    Section 101 directs the Secretary to increase the service-
connected compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, 
and related payments made to veterans and their survivors under 
chapter 11 and 13 by a percentage equal to that given to Social 
Security recipients.

                                TITLE II

    Section 201 amends section 3684(c) to allow schools to 
collect an administrative fee for all VA beneficiaries 
attending school in a year. VA currently pays only for those 
attending on October 31 of each year. Reporting fees are to be 
made from the readjustment benefits account.
    Section 202 amends section 3485(a)(1) to give veterans the 
option of accepting 40 percent of their work study payments as 
a lump sum, paid in advance.
    Section 203 amends sections 3011(a)(2), 3012(a)(2), 
3018(b)(4)(ii), 3018A(a)(2), 3018B(a)(1)(B), 3018B(a)(2)(B) and 
3018C(a)(3) to authorize VA to consider academic credit granted 
by institutions based on experience as meeting the educational 
requirements for participation in the Montgomery GI Bill.
    Section 204 amends sections 3034(d)(2) and 3241(b)(2) of 
title 38 and section 16136(c)(2) of title 10 to eliminate the 
requirement for flight students to maintain a class II physical 
throughout the period of flight training.
    Section 205 amends section 3677(b) to exempt government 
training programs from the minimum wage requirements necessary 
to qualify for veterans job training benefits.
    Section 206 amends section 3034 to require the Department 
to furnish service members information regarding the 
requirements to qualify for education benefits. Such 
information shall be furnished after completion of the member's 
$1,200 pay reduction.
    Section 207 amends section 3011 to require the military 
services to counsel members being discharged before the 
expiration of their enlistment about their eligibility for VA 
education benefits, including time-in-service requirements.

                               TITLE III

    Section 301 amends section 7253(c) to allow a one-year 
continuation in office for judges of the Court of Veterans 
Appeals who have been nominated for an additional term.
    Section 302 amends section 7254 to authorize the Court of 
Veterans Appeals to issue rules and regulations.
    Section 303 amends chapter 72 by adding a new section 7257 
prescribing procedures for judges of the Court of Veterans 
Appeals to volunteer for recall upon retirement, for the Court 
to recall retired judges, and the pay, powers, and duties of 
recalled judges.
    Section 312 amends section 7296(b) by adding a new 
paragraph (4) which directs that 183 days or more of service 
shall be counted as a full year when calculating years-of-
service for retirement purposes.
    Section 313 amends section 7296(c)(1) to prescribe the 
rates of pay for certain retired judges, the conditions of 
eligibility for increases in retired pay, and the maximum 
amounts of retired pay.
    Section 314 adds a new subsection (g) to section 7298 to 
exempt the Court's judges' retirement account from 
sequestration.
    Section 315 amends chapter 72 by adding a new section 7299 
to prescribe limitations on the post-retirement activities of 
judges of the Court of Veterans Appeals.
    Section 316 sets the requirements and rates of retired pay 
for, and authorizes early retirement of, one judge of the Court 
of Veterans Appeals per year for the years 1999 through 2003.
    Section 317 amends section 7297(o) to authorize a cost-of-
living increase for survivors participating in the Court's 
survivor annuity program.
    Section 318 requires the Court to submit reports to the 
House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs on the 
feasibility anddesirability of merging the Court's retirement 
and survivors' annuity programs with those of another federal court 
system.
    Section 321 amends section 7251 to rename the Court as the 
``United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims''.
    Section 322 provides conforming amendments to chapters 59, 
71, and 72 of title 38, section 8440d of title 5, section 2412 
of title 28, section 906 of title 44 and section 109 of the 
Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.)

                                TITLE IV

    Section 401 amends section 3720(b) to require the 
Department to comply with the requirements of the Federal 
Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 when 
contracting for property management services.
    Section 402 amends section 3702(a)(2)(E) to make the VA 
Home Loan Guaranty program for members of the Selected Reserves 
permanent.
    Section 403 adds a new paragraph (f) to section 2301 to 
require the Department to furnish a burial flag for certain 
members of the Selected Reserve who are not otherwise eligible 
for a burial flag.
    Section 404 amends section 2408(b) to authorize the 
Department to pay up to 100 percent of the cost to construct 
and equip a state veterans cemetery, authorizes up to $10 
million per year for such purposes, and extends the program 
through 2004.
    Section 405 amends section 4301A(a)(1) to revise the 
formula used to determine the number of Disabled Veterans 
Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS) authorized for each state, 
and removes the requirement that DVOPS be veterans of the 
Vietnam-era.
    Section 406 amends section 5503(a)(1)(B) to make permanent 
VA's authority to retain pension payments in excess of $90 made 
to veterans without dependents and residing in VA nursing 
homes.
    Section 407 amends section 7101(a) to authorize the title 
``veterans administrative law judges'' for members of the Board 
of Veterans' Appeals. It also amends section 7101A(a) to 
require Board members to be members of a state bar. Finally, it 
amends section 7101A(d) to prescribe employment reversion 
rights for members of the Board of Veterans' Appeals who are 
removed from the Board.
    Section 408 amends section 1919(b) to authorize the 
Department to pay dividends on National Service Life Insurance 
``H'' policies.

                           Oversight Findings

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

    The following represents the Administration's views and 
testimony.





          View of the United States Court of Veterans Appeals

    The Chief Judge of the United States Court of Veterans 
Appeals submitted the following justification for changes to 
authorizing legislation pertaining to the Court and its 
operations.





               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

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





                     Inflationary Impact Statement

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

                Applicability to the 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, Department of Labor, and U.S. 
Court of Veterans Appeals programs and beneficiaries.

                     Statement of Federal Mandates

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

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defence and general Welfare 
of the United States''.

         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 italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 19--INSURANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER I--NATIONAL SERVICE LIFE INSURANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1919. National Service Life Insurance appropriation

  (a)  * * *
  (b) All premiums heretofore and hereafter paid on insurance 
issued or reinstated under [sections 602(c)(2) and] section 
602(v)(1) of the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940 
where the requirement of good health was waived under such 
[sections] section because of a service-incurred injury or 
disability shall be credited directly to the National Service 
Life Insurance appropriation and any payments of benefits 
heretofore and hereafter made on such insurance shall be made 
directly from such appropriation.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 23--BURIAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2301. Flags

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f)(1) The Secretary shall furnish a flag to drape the casket 
of each deceased member or former member of the Selected 
Reserve (as described in section 10143 of title 10) who is not 
otherwise eligible for a flag under this section or section 
1482(a) of title 10--
          (A) who completed at least one enlistment as a member 
        of the Selected Reserve or, in the case of an officer, 
        completed the period of initial obligated service as a 
        member of the Selected Reserve;
          (B) who was discharged before completion of the 
        person's initial enlistment as a member of the Selected 
        Reserve or, in the case of an officer, period of 
        initial obligated service as a member of the Selected 
        Reserve, for a disability incurred or aggravated in 
        line of duty; or
          (C) who died while a member of the Selected Reserve.
  (2) A flag may not be furnished under subparagraphs (A) or 
(B) of paragraph (1) in the case of a person whose last 
discharge from service in the Armed Forces was under conditions 
less favorable than honorable.
  (3) After the burial, a flag furnished under paragraph (1) 
shall be given to the next of kin or to such other person as 
the Secretary considers appropriate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 24--NATIONAL CEMETERIES AND MEMORIALS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2408. Aid to States for establishment, expansion, and improvement 
                    of veterans' cemeteries

  (a)(1)  * * *
  [(2) There is authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for 
fiscal year 1980 and for each of the four succeeding fiscal 
years, and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 1985 
and for each of thefourteen succeeding fiscal years, for the 
purpose of making grants under paragraph (1) of this subsection.]
  (2) There is authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for 
fiscal year 1999 and for each succeeding fiscal year through 
fiscal year 2004 for the purpose of making grants under 
paragraph (1).
  (b) Grants under this section shall be subject to the 
following conditions:
          [(1) The amount of any grant under this section may 
        not exceed an amount equal to 50 percent of the total 
        of the value of the land to be acquired or dedicated 
        for the cemetery and the cost of the improvements to be 
        made on such land, with the remaining amount to be 
        contributed by the State receiving the grant.
          [(2) If at the time of a grant under this section the 
        State receiving the grant dedicates for the purposes of 
        the cemetery involved land already owned by the State, 
        the value of such land may be considered in determining 
        the amount of the State's contribution under paragraph 
        (1) of this subsection, but the value of such land may 
        not be used for more than an amount equal to 50 percent 
        of the amount of such contribution and may not be used 
        as part of such State's contribution for any subsequent 
        grant under this section.]
          (1) The amount of a grant under this section may not 
        exceed--
                  (A) in the case of the establishment of a new 
                cemetery, the sum of (i) the cost of 
                improvements to be made on the land to be 
                converted into a cemetery, and (ii) the cost of 
                initial equipment necessary to operate the 
                cemetery; and
                  (B) in the case of the expansion or 
                improvement of an existing cemetery, the sum of 
                (i) the cost of improvements to be made on any 
                land to be added to the cemetery, and (ii) the 
                cost of any improvements to be made to the 
                existing cemetery.
          (2) If the amount of a grant under this section is 
        less than the amount of costs referred to in 
        subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1), the State 
        receiving the grant shall contribute the excess of such 
        costs over the grant. Costs of land acquired or 
        dedicated by the State for such cemetery shall not be 
        taken into account for purposes of the preceding 
        sentence.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Sums appropriated under subsection (a) of this section 
[shall remain available until the end of the second fiscal year 
following the fiscal year for which they are appropriated] 
shall remain available until expended. If all funds from a 
grant under this section have not been utilized by a State for 
the purpose for which the grant was made within three years 
after such grant is made, the United States shall be entitled 
to recover any such unused grant funds from such State.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 30--ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              SUBCHAPTER II--BASIC EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Sec. 3011. Basic educational assistance entitlement for service on 
                    active duty

  (a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, 
each individual--
          (1) * * *
          (2) who, except as provided in subsection (e) of this 
        section, completed the requirements of a secondary 
        school diploma (or equivalency certificate) not later 
        than--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

        except that (i) an individual described in clause 
        (1)(B) of this subsection may meet the requirement of 
        this clause by having [successfully completed] 
        successfully completed (or otherwise received academic 
        credit for) the equivalent of 12 semester hours in a 
        program of education leading to a standard college 
        degree, and (ii) an individual described in clause 
        (1)(A) of this subsection may meet such requirement by 
        having [successfully completed] successfully completed 
        (or otherwise received academic credit for) the 
        equivalent of such 12 semester hours before the end of 
        the individual's initial obligated period of active 
        duty; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (i) The Secretary concerned shall inform any member of the 
Armed Forces, who has not completed that member's initial 
obligated period of active duty (as described in subsection 
(a)(1)(A)) and who indicates the intent to be discharged or 
released from such duty for the convenience of the Government, 
of the minimum active duty requirements for entitlement to 
educational assistance benefits under this chapter. Such 
information shall be provided to the member in a timely manner.

Sec. 3012. Basic educational assistance entitlement for service in the 
                    Selected Reserve

  (a)(1) * * *
  (2) who, except as provided in subsection (f) of this 
section, before completion of the service described in clause 
(1) of this subsection, has completed the requirements of a 
secondary school diploma (or an equivalency certificate), 
except that (i) an individual described in clause (1)(B) of 
this subsection may meet the requirement of this clause by 
having [successfully completed] successfully completed (or 
otherwise received academic credit for) the equivalent of 12 
semester hours in a program of education leading to a standard 
college degree, and (ii) an individual described in clause 
(1)(A) of this subsection may meet such requirement by having 
[successfully completed] successfully completed (or otherwise 
received academic credit for) the equivalent of such 12 
semester hours before the end of the individual's initial 
obligated period of active duty; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g)(1) The Secretary concerned shall inform any member of the 
Armed Forces, who has not completed that member's initial 
service (as described in paragraph (2)) and who indicates the 
intent to be discharged or released from such service for the 
convenience of the Government, of the minimum service 
requirements for entitlement to educational assistance benefits 
under this chapter. Such information shall be provided to the 
member in a timely manner.
  (2) The initial service referred to in paragraph (1) is the 
initial obligated period of active duty (described in 
subparagraphs (A)(i) or (B)(i) of subsection (a)(1)) or the 
period of service in the Selected Reserve (described in 
subparagraphs (A)(ii) or (B)(ii) of subsection (a)(1)).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3018. Opportunity for certain active-duty personnel to withdraw 
                    election not to enroll

  (a) * * *
  (b) An individual described in clauses (1) through (3) of 
subsection (a) of this section who made an election under 
section 3011(c)(1) or 3012(d)(1) of this title and who--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) before completing such obligated period of 
        service (i) has completed the requirements of a 
        secondary school diploma (or an equivalency 
        certificate), or (ii) has [successfully completed] 
        successfully completed (or otherwise received academic 
        credit for)the equivalent of 12 semester hours in a 
program of education leading to a standard college degree; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3018A. Opportunity for certain active-duty personnel to enroll 
                    before being involuntarily separated from service

  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an individual 
who--
          (1)  * * *
          (2) before applying for benefits under this section, 
        has completed the requirements of a secondary school 
        diploma (or equivalency certificate) or has 
        [successfully completed] successfully completed (or 
        otherwise received academic credit for) the equivalent 
        of 12 semester hours in a program of education leading 
        to a standard college degree;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3018B. Opportunity for certain persons to enroll

  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law--
          (1) the Secretary of Defense shall, subject to the 
        availability of appropriations, allow an individual 
        who--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) before applying for benefits under this 
                section, has completed the requirements of a 
                secondary school diploma (or equivalency 
                certificate) or has [successfully completed] 
                successfully completed (or otherwise received 
                academic credit for) the equivalent of 12 
                semester hours in a program of education 
                leading to a standard college degree;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary 
        of Defense, shall, subject to the availability of 
        appropriations, allow an individual who--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) before applying for benefits under this 
                section, has completed the requirements of a 
                secondary school diploma (or equivalency 
                certificate) or has [successfully completed] 
                successfully completed (or otherwise received 
                academic credit for) the equivalent of 12 
                semester hours in a program of education 
                leading to a standard college degree;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3018C. Opportunity for certain VEAP participants to enroll

  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an individual 
who--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) before applying for benefits under this section, 
        has completed the requirements of a secondary school 
        diploma (or equivalency certificate) or has 
        [successfully completed] successfully completed (or 
        otherwise received academic credit for) the equivalent 
        of 12 semester hours in a program of education leading 
        to a standard college degree;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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) * * *
          (2) the individual possesses a valid private [pilot's 
        license] pilot certificate and meets, on the day the 
        individual begins a course of flight training, the 
        medical requirements necessary for a commercial 
        [pilot's license] pilot certificate; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e)(1) In the case of a member of the Armed Forces who 
participates in basic educational assistance under this 
chapter, the Secretary shall furnish the information described 
in paragraph (2) to each such member, as soon as practicable 
after the basic pay of the member has been reduced by $1,200 in 
accordance with sections 3011(b) and 3102(c) of this title. The 
Secretary shall furnish such information to each such member at 
such additional times as the Secretary determines appropriate.
  (2) The information referred to in paragraph (1) is 
information with respect to the benefits, limitations, 
procedures, eligibility requirements (including time-in-service 
requirements), and other important aspects of the basic 
educational assistance program under this chapter, including 
application forms for such basic educational assistance under 
section 5102 of this title.
  (3) The Secretary shall furnish the forms described in 
paragraph (2) and other educational materials to educational 
institutions, training establishments, and military education 
personnel, as the Secretary determines appropriate.
  (4) The Secretary shall use amounts appropriated for 
readjustment benefits to carry out this subsection and section 
5102 of this title with respect to application forms under that 
section for basic educational assistance under this chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3036. Reporting requirement

  (a) * * *
  (b) The Secretary of Defense shall include in each report 
submitted under this section--
          (1) information indicating (A) the extent to which 
        the benefit levels provided under this chapter are 
        adequate to achieve the purposes of inducing 
        individuals to enter and remain in the Armed Forces and 
        of providing an adequate level of financial assistance 
        to help meet the cost of pursuing a program of 
        education, [and] (B) whether it is necessary for the 
        purposes of maintaining adequate levels of well-
        qualified active-duty personnel in the Armed Forces to 
        continue to offer the opportunity for educational 
        assistance under this chapter to individuals who have 
        not yet entered active-duty service, and (C) describing 
        the efforts under sections 3011(i) and 3012(g) of this 
        title to inform members of the Armed Forces of the 
        minimum service requirements for entitlement to 
        educational assistance benefits under this chapter and 
        the results from such efforts; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 32--POST-VIETNAM ERA VETERANS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                     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) * * *
          (2) the individual possesses a valid [pilot's 
        license] pilot certificate and meets, on the day the 
        individual begins a course of flight training, the 
        medical requirements necessary for a commercial 
        [pilot's license] pilot certificate; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 34--VETERANS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3485. Work-study allowance

  (a)(1) Individuals utilized under the authority of subsection 
(b) of this section shall be paid an additional educational 
assistance allowance (hereafter referred to as ``work-study 
allowance''). Such work-study allowance shall be paid in an 
amount equal to the applicable hourly minimum wage times the 
number of hours worked during the applicable period, in return 
for such individual's agreement to perform services, during or 
between periods of enrollment, aggregating not more than a 
number of hours equal to 25 times the number of weeks in the 
semester or other applicable enrollment period, required in 
connection with (A) the outreach services program under 
subchapter II of chapter 77 of this title as carried out under 
the supervision of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, 
(B) the preparation and processing of necessary papers and 
other documents at educational institutions or regional offices 
or facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, (C) the 
provision of hospital and domiciliary care and medical 
treatment under chapter 17 of this title, (D) any other 
activity of the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Secretary 
shall determine appropriate, or (E) in the case of an 
individual who is receiving educational assistance under 
chapter 106 of title 10, activities relating to the 
administration of such chapter at Department of Defense, Coast 
Guard, or National Guard facilities. [An individual shall be 
paid in advance] An individual may elect, in a manner 
prescribed by the Secretary, to be paid in advance an amount 
equal to 40 percent of the total amount of the work-study 
allowance agreed to be paid under the agreement in return for 
the individual's agreement to perform the number of hours of 
work specified in the agreement (but not more than an amount 
equal to 50 times the applicable hourly minimum wage).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3677. Approval of training on the job

  (a) * * *
  (b)(1) The training establishment offering training which is 
desired to be approved for the purposes of this chapter must 
submit to the appropriate State approving agency a written 
application for approval which, in addition to furnishing such 
information as is required by the State approving agency, 
contains a certification that--
          [(1)] (A) the wages to be paid the eligible veteran 
        or person [(A)] (i) upon entrance into training, are 
        not less than wages paid nonveterans in the same 
        training position and are at least 50 per centum of the 
        wages paid for the job for which the veteran or person 
        is to be trained, and [(B)] (ii) such wages will be 
        increased in regular periodic increments until, not 
        later than the last full month of the training period, 
        they will be at least 85 per centum of the wages paid 
        for the job for which such eligible veteran or person 
        is being trained; and
          [(2)] (B) there is reasonable certainty that the job 
        for which the eligible veteran or person is to be 
        trained will be available to the veteran or person at 
        the end of the training period.
  (2) The requirement under paragraph (1)(A)(ii) shall not 
apply with respect to a training establishment operated by the 
United States or by a State or local government.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3684. Reports by veterans, eligible persons, and institutions; 
                    reporting fee

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) The Secretary may pay to any educational institution, or 
to any joint apprenticeship training committee acting as a 
training establishment, furnishing education or training under 
either this chapter or chapter 31, 34 or 35 of this title, a 
reporting fee which will be in lieu of any other compensation 
or reimbursement for reports or certifications which such 
educational institution or joint apprenticeship training 
committee is required to submit to the Secretary by law or 
regulation. Such reporting fee shall be computed for each 
calendar year by multiplying $7 by the number of eligible 
veterans or eligible persons enrolled under this chapter or 
chapter 31, 34 or 35 of this title, or $11 in the case of those 
eligible veterans and eligible persons whose educational 
assistance checks are directed in care of each institution for 
temporary custody and delivery and are delivered at the time of 
registration as provided under section 3680(d)(4) of this 
title[, on October 31 of that year; except that the Secretary 
may, where it is established by such educational institution or 
joint apprenticeship training committee that eligible veteran 
plus eligible person enrollment on such date varies more than 
15 percent from the peak eligible veteran enrollment plus 
eligible person enrollment in such educational institution or 
joint apprenticeship training committee during such calendar 
year, establish such other date as representative of the peak 
enrollment as may be justified for such educational institution 
or joint apprenticeship training committee] during the calender 
year. The reporting fee shall be paid to such educational 
institution or joint apprenticeship training committee as soon 
as feasible after the end of the calendar year for which it is 
applicable. No reporting fee payable to an educational 
institution under this subsection shall be subject to offset by 
the Secretary against any liability of such institution for any 
overpayment for which such institution may be administratively 
determined to be liable under section 3685 of this title unless 
such liability is not contested by such institution or has been 
upheld by a final decree of a court of appropriate 
jurisdiction. The reporting fee payable under this subsection 
shall be paid from amounts appropriated for readjustment 
benefits.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 37--HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3702. Basic entitlement

  (a)(1) * * *
  (2)   The veterans referred to in the first sentence of 
paragraph (1) of this subsection are the following:
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (E) [For the period beginning on October 28, 1992, 
        and ending on October 27, 1999, each veteran] Each 
        veteran described in section 3701(b)(5) of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


               SUBCHAPTER III--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Sec. 3720. Powers of Secretary

  (a) * * *
  (b) The powers granted by this section may be exercised by 
the Secretary without regard to any other provision of law not 
enacted expressly in limitation of this section, which 
otherwise would govern the expenditure of public funds[; 
however, section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5) 
shall apply to any contract for services or supplies on account 
of any property acquired pursuant to this section if the amount 
of such contract exceeds the amount prescribed in clause (1) of 
the first sentence of such section.], except that title III of 
the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 
(41 U.S.C. 251 et seq.) shall apply to any contract for 
services or supplies on account of any property acquired 
pursuant to this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    CHAPTER 41--JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND PLACEMENT SERVICE FOR 
VETERANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4103A. Disabled veterans' outreach program

  (a)(1) The amount of funds made available for use in a State 
under section 4102A(b)(5)(A)(i) of this title shall be 
sufficient to support the appointment of one disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialist [for each 6,900 veterans residing 
in such State who are either veterans of the Vietnam era, 
veterans who first entered on active duty as a member of the 
Armed Forces after May 7, 1975, or disabled veterans.] for each 
7,400 veterans who are between the ages of 20 and 64 residing 
in such State. Each such specialist shall be a qualified 
veteran. Preference shall be given in the appointment of such 
specialists to qualified disabled veterans [of the Vietnam era. 
If the Secretary finds that a qualified disabled veteran of the 
Vietnam era is not available for any such appointment, 
preference for such appointment shall be given to other 
qualified disabled veterans]. If the Secretary finds that no 
qualified disabled veteran is available for such appointment, 
such appointment may be given to any qualified veteran. Each 
such specialist shall be compensated at rates comparable to 
those paid other professionals performing essentially similar 
duties in the State government of the State concerned.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART IV--GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 55--MINORS, INCOMPETENTS, AND OTHER WARDS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 5503. Hospitalized veterans and estates of incompetent 
                    institutionalized veterans

  (a)(1)(A) * * *
  (B) Except as provided in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, 
where any veteran having neither spouse nor child is being 
furnished nursing home care by the Department, no pension in 
excess of $90 per month shall be paid to or for the veteran for 
any period after the end of the third full calendar month 
following the month of admission for such care. [Effective 
through September 30, 1997, any] Any amount in excess of $90 
per month to which the veteranwould be entitled but for the 
application of the preceding sentence shall be deposited in a revolving 
fund at the Department medical facility which furnished the veteran 
nursing care, and such amount shall be available for obligation without 
fiscal year limitation to help defray operating expenses of that 
facility.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 59--AGENTS AND ATTORNEYS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 5904. Recognition of agents and attorneys generally

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c)(1) * * *
  (2) A person who, acting as agent or attorney in a case 
referred to in paragraph (1) of the subsection, represents a 
person before the Department or the Board of Veterans' Appeals 
after the Board first makes a final decision in the case shall 
file a copy of any fee agreement between them with the Board at 
such time as may be specified by the Board. The Board, upon its 
own motion or the request of either party, may review such a 
fee agreement and may order a reduction in the fee called for 
in the agreement if the Board finds that the fee is excessive 
or unreasonable. A finding or order of the Board under the 
preceding sentence may be reviewed by the United States [Court 
of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims under 
section 7263(d) of this title.
  (d)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (3) To the extent that past-due benefits are awarded in any 
proceeding before the Secretary, the Board of Veterans' 
Appeals, or the United States Court of Veterans Appeals, the 
Secretary may direct that payment of any attorneys' fee under a 
fee arrangement described in paragraph (1) of this subsection 
be made out of such past-due benefits. In no event may the 
Secretary withhold for the purpose of such payment any portion 
of benefits payable for a period after the date of the final 
decision of the Secretary, the Board of Veterans' Appeals, or 
[Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims making (or ordering the making of) the award.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


             PART V--BOARDS, ADMINISTRATIONS, AND SERVICES

CHAPTER                                                             Sec.
      Board of Veterans' Appeals....................................7101
      United States Court of Veterans Appeals......................7251]
7251United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims................

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 71--BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7101. Composition of Board of Veterans' Appeals

  (a)(1) There is in the Department a Board of Veterans' 
Appeals (hereafter in this chapter referred to as the 
``Board''). The Board is under the administrative control and 
supervision of a chairman directly responsible to the 
Secretary. The Board shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice 
Chairman, and such number of members as may be found necessary 
in order to conduct hearings and dispose of appeals properly 
before the Board in a timely manner. Members of the Board 
(other than the Chairman) shall also be known as ``veterans 
administrative law judges''.
  (2) The Board shall have such other professional, 
administrative, clerical, and stenographic personnel as are 
necessary in conducting hearings and considering and disposing 
of appeals properly before the Board. The Board shall have 
sufficient personnel under the preceding sentence to enable the 
Board to conduct hearings and consider and dispose of appeals 
properly before the Board in a timely manner.
  (b)(1) The Chairman shall be appointed by the President, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of 
six years. The Chairman shall be subject to the same ethical 
and legal limitations and restrictions concerning involvement 
in political activities as apply to judges of the United States 
[Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7101A. Members of Board: appointment; pay; performance review

  (a)(1) The members of the Board of Veterans' Appeals other 
than the Chairman (and including the Vice Chairman) shall be 
appointed by the Secretary, with the approval of the President, 
based upon recommendations of the Chairman.
  (2) Each member of the Board shall be a member in good 
standing of the bar of a State.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) * * *
  [(2) Upon removal from the Board under paragraph (1), a 
member of the Board (other than the Chairman) who was a career 
or career-conditional employee in the civil service before 
commencement of service as a member of the Board shall revert 
to the civil service grade and series held by the member 
immediately before the appointment of the member to the Board.]
  (2)(A) Upon removal from the Board under paragraph (1) of a 
member of the Board who before appointment to the Board served 
as an attorney in the civil service, the Secretary shall 
appoint that member to an attorney position at the Board, if 
the removed member so requests. If the removed member served in 
an attorney position at the Board immediately before 
appointment to the Board, appointment to an attorney position 
under this paragraph shall be inthe grade and step held by the 
removed member immediately before such appointment to the Board.
  (B) The Secretary is not required to make an appointment to 
an attorney position under this paragraph if the Secretary 
determines that the member of the Board removed under paragraph 
(1) is not qualified for the position.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


         [CHAPTER 72--UNITED STATES COURT OF VETERANS APPEALS]

     CHAPTER 72--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

               subchapter i--organization and jurisdiction

Sec.
7251.    Status.
     * * * * * * *
7257.    Recall of retired judges.
     * * * * * * *

                subchapter iii--miscellaneous provisions

7281.    Employees.
     * * * * * * *
[7286.    Judicial Conference of the Court of Veterans Appeals.]
7286.    Judicial Conference of the Court.

                   subchapter iv--decisions and review

[7291.    Date when United States Court of Veterans Appeals decision 
          becomes final.]
7291.    Date when Court decision becomes final.
     * * * * * * *

            subchapter v--retirement and survivors annuities

7296.    Retirement of judges.
     * * * * * * *
[7298.    Court of Veterans Appeals Retirement Fund.]
7298.    Retirement Fund.
7299.    Limitation on activities of retired judges.

              SUBCHAPTER I--ORGANIZATION AND JURISDICTION

Sec. 7251. Status

  There is hereby established, under Article I of the 
Constitution of the United States, a court of record to be 
known as the [United States Court of Veterans Appeals] United 
States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Sec. 7252. Jurisdiction; finality of decisions

  (a) The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims shall have exclusive jurisdiction to review 
decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals. The Secretary may 
not seek review of any such decision. The Court shall have 
power to affirm, modify, or reverse a decision of the Board or 
to remand the matter, as appropriate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7253. Composition

  (a) The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims shall be composed of a chief judge and at least 
two and not more than six associate judges.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) The term of office of the judges of the [Court of 
Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be 
15 years. A judge who is nominated by the President for 
appointment to an additional term on the Court without a break 
in service and whose term of office expires while that 
nomination is pending before the Senate may continue in office 
for up to one year while that nomination is pending.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7254. Organization

  (a) The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims shall have a seal which shall be judicially 
noticed.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) The Court may prescribe rules and regulations to carry 
out this chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7255. Offices

  The principal office of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court 
of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be in the District of 
Columbia, but the Court may sit at any place within the United 
States.

Sec. 7256. Times and places of sessions

  The times and places of sessions of the [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be 
prescribed by the chief judge.

Sec. 7257. Recall of retired judges

  (a)(1) A retired judge of the Court may be recalled for 
further service on the Court in accordance with this section. 
To be eligible to be recalled for such service, a retired judge 
must at the time of the judge's retirement provide to the chief 
judge of the Court (or, in the case of the chief judge, to the 
clerk of the Court) notice in writing that the retired judge is 
available for further service on the Court in accordance with 
this section and is willing to be recalled under this section. 
Such a notice provided by a retired judge is irrevocable.
  (2) For the purposes of this section--
          (A) a retired judge is a judge of the Court of 
        Veterans Appeals who retires from the Court under 
        section 7296 of this title or under chapter 83 or 84 of 
        title 5; and
          (B) a recall-eligible retired judge is a retired 
        judge who has provided a notice under paragraph (1).
  (b)(1) The chief judge may recall for further service on the 
court a recall-eligible retired judge in accordance with this 
section. Such a recall shall be made upon written certification 
by the chief judge that substantial service is expected to be 
performed by the retired judge for such period, not to exceed 
90 days (or the equivalent), as determined by the chief judge 
to be necessary to meet the needs of the Court.
  (2) A recall-eligible retired judge may not be recalled for 
more than 90 days (or the equivalent) during any calendar year 
without the judge's consent or for more than a total of 180 
days (or the equivalent) during any calendar year.
  (3) If a recall-eligible retired judge is recalled by the 
chief judge in accordance with this section and (other than in 
the case of a judge who has previously during that calendar 
year served at least 90 days (or the equivalent) of recalled 
service on the court) declines (other than by reason of 
disability) to perform the service to which recalled, the chief 
judge shall remove that retired judge from the status of a 
recall-eligible judge.
  (4) A recall-eligible retired judge who becomes permanently 
disabled and as a result of that disability is unable to 
perform further service on the court shall be removed from the 
status of a recall-eligible judge. Determination of such a 
disability shall be made in the same manner as is applicable to 
judges of the United States under section 371 of title 28.
  (c) A retired judge who is recalled under this section may 
exercise all of the powers and duties of the office of a judge 
in active service.
  (d)(1) The pay of a recall-eligible retired judge who retired 
under section 7296 of this title is specified in subsection (c) 
of that section.
  (2) A judge who is recalled under this section who retired 
under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 shall be paid, during the 
period for which the judge serves in recall status, pay at the 
rate of pay in effect under section 7253(e) of this title for a 
judge performing active service, less the amount of the judge's 
annuity under the applicable provisions of chapter 83 or 84 of 
title 5.
  (e)(1) Except as provided in subsection (d), a judge who is 
recalled under this section who retired under chapter 83 or 84 
of title 5 shall be considered to be a reemployed annuitant 
under that chapter.
  (2) Nothing in this section affects the right of a judge who 
retired under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 to serve as a 
reemployed annuitant in accordance with the provisions of title 
5.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        SUBCHAPTER II--PROCEDURE

Sec. 7261. Scope of review

  (a) In any action brought under this chapter, the [Court of 
Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, to the 
extent necessary to its decision and when presented, shall--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7262. Fee for filing appeals

  (a) The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims may impose a fee of not more than $50 for the 
filing of any appeal with the Court. The Court shall establish 
procedures under which such a fee may be waived in the case of 
an appealfiled by or on behalf of a person who demonstrates 
that the requirement that such fee be paid will impose a hardship on 
that person. A decision as to such a waiver is final and may not be 
reviewed in any other court.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7263. Representation of parties; fee agreements

  (a) The Secretary shall be represented before the [Court of 
Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by the 
General Counsel of the Department.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7264. Rules of practice and procedure

  (a) The proceedings of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court 
of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be conducted in accordance 
with such rules of practice and procedure as the Court 
prescribes.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7266. Notice of appeal

  (a)(1) In order to obtain review by the [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims of a final 
decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, a person adversely 
affected by such decision shall file a notice of appeal with 
the Court within 120 days after the date on which notice of the 
decision is mailed pursuant to section 7104(e) of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7267. Decisions

  (a) A decision upon a proceeding before the [Court of 
Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be 
made as quickly as practicable. In a case heard by a panel of 
the Court, the decision shall be made by a majority vote of the 
panel in accordance with the rules of the Court. The decision 
of the judge or panel hearing the case so made shall be the 
decision of the Court.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7268. Availability of proceedings

  (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, all 
decisions of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals 
for Veterans Claims and all briefs, motions, documents, and 
exhibits received by the Court (including a transcript of the 
stenographic report of the hearings) shall be public records 
open to the inspection of the public.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7269. Publication of decisions

  (a) The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims shall provide for the publication of decisions 
of the Court in such form and manner as may be best adapted for 
public information and use. The Court may make such exceptions, 
or may authorize the chief judge to make such exceptions, to 
the requirement for publication in the preceding sentence as 
may be appropriate.
  (b) Such authorized publication shall be competent evidence 
of the decisions of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims therein contained in all courts of 
the United States and of the several States without any further 
proof or authentication thereof.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                SUBCHAPTER III--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Sec. 7281. Employees

  (a) The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims may appoint a clerk without regard to the 
provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive 
service. The clerk shall serve at the pleasure of the Court.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7282. Budget and expenditures

  (a) The budget of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims as submitted by the Court for 
inclusion in the budget of the President for any fiscal year 
shall be included in that budget without review within the 
executive branch.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7283. Disposition of fees

  Except for amounts received pursuant to section 7285 of this 
title, all fees received by the [Court of Veterans Appeals] 
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be covered into the 
Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.

Sec. 7284. Fee for transcript of record

  The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims may fix a fee, not in excess of the fee authorized by 
law to be charged and collected therefor by the clerks of the 
district courts, for comparing, or for preparing and comparing, 
a transcript of the record of any proceeding before the Court, 
or for copying any record, entry, or other paper and the 
comparison and certification thereof.

Sec. 7285. Practice fee

  (a) The [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims may impose a periodic registration fee on 
persons admitted to practice before the Court. The frequency 
and amount of such fee shall be determined by the Court, except 
that such amount may not exceed $30 per year.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 7286. Judicial Conference of the Court of Veterans Appeals]

Sec. 7286. Judicial Conference of the Court

  The Chief Judge of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims may summon the judges of the Court 
to an annual judicial conference, at a time and place that the 
Chief Judge designates, for the purpose of considering the 
business of the Court and recommending means of improving the 
administration of justice within the Court's jurisdiction. The 
Court shall provide by its rules for representation and active 
participation at such conference by persons admitted to 
practice before the Court and by other persons active in the 
legal profession.

                  SUBCHAPTER IV--DECISIONS AND REVIEW

[Sec. 7291. Date when United States Court of Veterans Appeals decision 
                    becomes final]

Sec. 7291. Date when Court decision becomes final

  (a) A decision of the United States [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall become 
final upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing, under 
section 7292 of this title, a notice of appeal from such 
decision, if no such notice is duly filed within such time. If 
such a notice is filed within such time, such a decision shall 
become final--
          (1) upon the expiration of the time allowed for 
        filing a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court 
        of the United States, if the decision of the [Court of 
        Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
        is affirmed or the appeal is dismissed by the United 
        States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and no 
        petition for certiorari is duly filed;
          (2) upon the denial of a petition for certiorari, if 
        the decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court 
        of Appeals for Veterans Claims is affirmed or the 
        appeal is dismissed by the United States Court of 
        Appeals for the Federal Circuit; or
          (3) upon the expiration of 30 days from the date of 
        issuance of the mandate of the Supreme Court, if that 
        Court directs that the decision of the [Court of 
        Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
        be affirmed or the appeal dismissed.
  (b)(1) If the Supreme Court directs that the decision of the 
[Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims be modified or reversed, the decision of the [Court of 
Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims rendered 
in accordance with the mandate of the Supreme Court shall 
become final upon the expiration of 30 days from the time it 
was rendered, unless within such 30 days either the Secretary 
or the petitioner has instituted proceedings to have such 
decision corrected to accord with the mandate, in which event 
the decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims shall become final when so 
corrected.
  (2) If the decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court 
of Appeals for Veterans Claims is modified or reversed by the 
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and if--
          (A) the time allowed for filing a petition for 
        certiorari has expired and no such petition has been 
        duly filed, or
          (B) the petition for certiorari has been denied, or
          (C) the decision of the United States Court of 
        Appeals for the Federal Circuit has been affirmed by 
        the Supreme Court,
then the decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims rendered in accordance with the 
mandate of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal 
Circuit shall become final upon the expiration of 30 days from 
the time such decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court 
of Appeals for Veterans Claims was rendered, unless within such 
30 days either the Secretary or the petitioner has instituted 
proceedings to have such decision corrected so that it will 
accord with the mandate, in which event the decision of the 
[Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims shall become final when so corrected.
  (c) If the Supreme Court orders a rehearing, or if the case 
is remanded by the United States Court of Appeals for the 
Federal Circuit to the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims for a rehearing, and if--
          (1) the time allowed for filing a petition for 
        certiorari has expired and no such petition has been 
        duly filed, or
          (2) the petition for certiorari has been denied, or
          (3) the decision of the United States Court of 
        Appeals for the Federal Circuit has been affirmed by 
        the Supreme Court,
then the decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims rendered upon such rehearing shall 
become final in the same manner as though no prior decision of 
the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims had been rendered.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7292. Review by United States Court of Appeals for the Federal 
                    Circuit

  (a) After a decision of the United States [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is entered in a 
case, any party to the case may obtain a review of the decision 
with respect to the validity of any statute or regulation 
(other than a refusal to review the schedule of ratings for 
disabilities adopted under section 1155 of this title) or any 
interpretation thereof (other than a determination as to a 
factual matter) that was relied on by the Court in making the 
decision. Such a review shall be obtained by filing a notice of 
appeal with the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals 
for Veterans Claims within the time and in the manner 
prescribed for appeal to United States courts of appeals for 
United States district courts.
  (b)(1) When a judge or panel of the [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, in making an 
order not otherwise appealable under this section, determines 
that a controlling question of law is involved with respect to 
which there is in fact a disagreement between the appellant and 
the Secretary with respect to that question of law and that the 
ultimate termination of the case may be materially advanced by 
the immediate consideration of that question, the judge or 
panel shall notify the chiefjudge of that determination. Upon 
receiving such a notification, the chief judge shall certify that such 
a question is presented, and any party to the case may then petition 
the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to decide the question. 
That court may permit an interlocutory appeal to be taken on that 
question if such a petition is filed with it within 10 days after the 
certification by the chief judge of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] 
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Neither the application for, nor 
the granting of, an appeal under this paragraph shall stay proceedings 
in the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims, unless a stay is ordered by a judge of the [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims or by the Court of 
Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  (2) For purposes of subsections (d) and (e) of this section, 
an order described in this paragraph shall be treated as a 
decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals 
for Veterans Claims.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall 
decide all relevant questions of law, including interpreting 
constitutional and statutory provisions. The court shall hold 
unlawful and set aside any regulation or any interpretation 
thereof (other than a determination as to a factual matter) 
that was relied upon in the decision of the [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims that the Court of 
Appeals for the Federal Circuit finds to be--
          (A)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e)(1) Upon such review, the Court of Appeals for the Federal 
Circuit shall have power to affirm or, if the decision of the 
[Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims is not in accordance with law, to modify or reverse the 
decision of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals 
for Veterans Claims or to remand the matter, as appropriate.
  (2) Rules for review of decisions of the [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be those 
prescribed by the Supreme Court under section 2072 of title 28.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            SUBCHAPTER V--RETIREMENT AND SURVIVORS ANNUITIES

Sec. 7296. Retirement of judges

  (a) For purposes of this section:
          (1) The term ``Court'' means the United States [Court 
        of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
        Claims.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (b)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (4) For purposes of calculating the years of service of an 
individual under this subsection and subsection (c), only those 
years of service as a judge of the Court shall be credited. In 
determining the number of years of such service, that portion 
of the aggregate number of years of such service that is a 
fractional part of one year shall be disregarded if less than 
183 days and shall be credited as a full year if 183 days or 
more.
  (c)(1) An individual who retires under subsection (b) of this 
section and elects under subsection (d) of this section to 
receive retired pay under this subsection shall (except as 
provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection) receive retired 
pay [at the rate of pay in effect at the time of retirement.] 
as follows:
          (A) In the case of a judge who is a recall-eligible 
        retired judge under section 7257 of this title or who 
        was a recall-eligible retired judge under that section 
        and was removed from recall status under subsection 
        (b)(4) of that section by reason of disability, the 
        retired pay of the judge shall be the pay of a judge of 
        the court (or of the chief judge, if the individual 
        retired from service as chief judge).
          (B) In the case of a judge who at the time of 
        retirement did not provide notice under section 7257 of 
        this title of availability for service in a recalled 
        status, the retired pay of the judge shall be the rate 
        of pay applicable to that judge at the time of 
        retirement.
          (C) In the case of a judge who was a recall-eligible 
        retired judge under section 7257 of this title and was 
        removed from recall status under subsection (b)(3) of 
        that section, the retired pay of the judge shall be the 
        pay of the judge at the time of the removal from recall 
        status.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (3)(A) A cost-of-living adjustment provided by law in 
annuities payable under civil service retirement laws shall 
apply to retired pay under this section only in the case of 
retired pay computed under paragraph (2) of subsection (c).
  (B)(i) If such a cost-of-living adjustment would (but for 
this subparagraph) result in the retired pay of a retired chief 
judge being in excess of the annual rate of pay in effect for 
the chief judge of the court as provided in section 7253(e)(1) 
of this title, such adjustment may be made in the retired pay 
of that retired chief judge only in such amount as results in 
the retired pay of the retired chief judge being equal to that 
annual rate of pay (as in effect on the effective date of such 
adjustment).
  (ii) If such a cost-of-living adjustment would (but for this 
subparagraph) result in the retired pay of a retired judge 
(other than a retired chief judge) being in excess of the 
annual rate of pay in effect for judges of the court as 
provided in section 7253(e)(2) of this title, such adjustment 
may be made only in such amount as results in the retired pay 
of the retired judge being equal to that annual rate of pay (as 
in effect on the effective date of such adjustment).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (i)(1) Beginning with the next pay period after the Director 
of the Office of Personnel Management receives a notice under 
subsection (d) of this section that a judge has elected to 
receive retired payunder this section, the Director shall 
deduct and withhold 1 percent of the salary of such judge. Amounts 
shall be so deducted and withheld in a manner determined by the 
Director. Amounts deducted and withheld under this subsection shall be 
deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the 
[Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Judges 
Retirement Fund. Deductions under this subsection from the salary of a 
judge shall terminate upon the retirement of the judge or upon the 
completion of 15 years of service for which either deductions under 
this subsection or a deposit under subsection (j) of this section has 
been made, whichever occurs first.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (k) The amounts deducted and withheld under subsection (i) of 
this section, and the amounts deposited under subsection (j) of 
this section, shall be deposited in the [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Retirement Fund 
for credit to individual accounts in the name of each judge 
from who such amounts are received.

Sec. 7297. Survivor annuities

  (a) For purposes of this section:
          (1) The term ``Court'' means the United States [Court 
        of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
        Claims.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) The term ``retirement fund'' means the [Court of 
        Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
        Retirement Fund established under section 7298 of this 
        title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(o) Whenever the salaries of judges paid under section 
7253(e) of this title are increased, each annuity payable from 
the retirement fund which is based, in whole or in part, upon a 
deceased judge having rendered some portion of that judge's 
final 18 months of service as a judge of the Court, shall also 
be increased. The amount of the increase in the annuity shall 
be determined by multiplying the amount of the annuity on the 
date on which the increase in salaries become effective by 3 
percent for each full 5 percent by which those salaries were 
increased.]
  (o) Each survivor annuity payable from the retirement fund 
shall be increased at the same time as, and by the same 
percentage by which, annuities payable from the Judicial 
Survivors' Annuities Fund are increased pursuant to section 
376(m) of title 28.

[Sec. 7298. Court of Veterans Appeals Retirement Fund]

Sec. 7298. Retirement Fund

  (a) There is established in the Treasury a fund known as the 
[Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims Retirement Fund.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) The chief judge of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court 
of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall submit to the President an 
annual estimate of the expenditures and appropriations 
necessary for the maintenance and operation of the fund, and 
such supplemental and deficiency estimates as may be required 
from time to time for the same purposes, according to law.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e)(1) * * *
  (2)(A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), the term ``present 
value'' includes a value determined by an actuary with respect 
to a payment that may be made under subsection (b) from the 
retirement fund within the contemplation of law.
  [(C)] (D) Amounts deposited in the retirement fund under this 
paragraph shall not be credited to the account of any 
individual.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) For purpose of section 255(g)(1)(B) of the Balanced 
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 
905(g)(1)(B)), the retirement fund shall be treated in the same 
manner as the Claims Judges' Retirement Fund.

Sec. 7299. Limitation on activities of retired judges

  If a retired judge of the Court in the practice of law 
represents (or supervises or directs the representation of) a 
client in making any claim relating to veterans' benefits 
against the United States or any agency thereof, the retired 
judge shall forfeit all rights to retired pay under section 
7296 of this title or under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 for the 
period beginning on the date on which the representation begins 
and ending one year after the date on which the representation 
ends.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 77--VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--VETERANS OUTREACH SERVICES PROGRAM

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7722. Outreach services

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) [The Secretary] Except as provided in section 3034(e) of 
this title, the Secretary shall distribute full information to 
eligible veterans and eligible dependents regarding all 
benefits and services to which they may be entitled under laws 
administered by the Department and may, to the extent feasible, 
distribute information on other governmental programs 
(including manpower and training programs) which the Secretary 
determines would be beneficial to veterans.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


             SECTION 16136 OF TITLE 10, UNITED STATES CODE

Sec. 16136. Administration of program

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c)(1) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may approve the 
pursuit of flight training (in addition to a course of flight 
training that may be approved under section 3680A(b) of title 
38) by an individual entitled to educational assistance under 
this chapter if--
          (A) such training is generally accepted as necessary 
        for the attainment of a recognized vocational objective 
        in the field of aviation;
          (B) the individual possesses a valid private [pilot's 
        license] pilot certificate and meets, on the day the 
        individual begins a course of flight training, the 
        medical requirements necessary for a commercial 
        [pilot's license] pilot certificate; and
          (C) the flight school courses meet Federal Aviation 
        Administration standards for such courses and are 
        approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the 
        Sate approving agency.
  (2) This subsection shall not apply to a course of flight 
training that commences on or after October 1, 1994.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


               CHAPTER 84 OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

            CHAPTER 84--FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM

                    SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec.
8401.    Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

                   SUBCHAPTER III--THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN

8432.    Contributions.
     * * * * * * *
[8440d.    Judges of the United States Court of Veterans Appeals.]
8440d.    Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans 
          Claims.
     * * * * * * *

SUBCHAPTER III--THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 8440d. Judges of the United States Court of Veterans Appeals]

Sec. 8440d. Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans 
                    Claims

  (a)(1) A judge of the United States [Court of Veterans 
Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims may elect to 
contribute to the Thrift Savings Fund.
  (2) An election may be made under paragraph (1) only during a 
period provided under section 8432(b) of this title for 
individuals subject to chapter 84 of this title.
  (b)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (5) Section 8433(b) of this title applies in the case of a 
judge who elects to make contributions to the Thrift Savings 
Fund and thereafter ceases to serve as a judge of the United 
States [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims but does not retire under section 7296(b) of 
title 38.
  (6) The provisions of section 8351(b)(7) of this title shall 
apply with respect to a judge who has elected to contribute to 
the Thrift Savings Fund under this section.
                              ----------                              


              SECTION 2412 OF TITLE 28, UNITED STATES CODE

Sec. 2412. Costs and fees

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) * * *
  (2) For the purposes of this subsection--
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (F) ``court'' includes the United States Court of 
        Federal Claims and the United States [Court of Veterans 
        Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


              SECTION 906 OF TITLE 44, UNITED STATES CODE

Sec. 906. Congressional Record: gratuitous copies; delivery

  The Public Printer shall furnish the Congressional Record 
only as follows:
  of the bound edition--
          to the Senate Service Department five copies for the 
        Vice President and each Senator;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          to each United States circuit and district judge, and 
        to the chief judge and each associate judge of the 
        United States Court of Federal Claims, the United 
        States Court of International Trade, the Tax Court of 
        the United States, the United States [Court of Veterans 
        Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the 
        United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 
        upon request to a member of Congress and notification 
        by the Member to the Public Printer, one copy of the 
        daily, in addition to those authorized to be furnished 
        to Members of Congress under the preceding provisions 
        of this section;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          to the library of each United States Court of 
        Appeals, each United States District Court, the United 
        States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court 
        of International Trade, the Tax Court of the United 
        States, the United States [Court of Veterans Appeals] 
        Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the United 
        States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, upon 
        request to the Public Printer, one copy of the daily, 
        one semimonthly copy, and one bound copy;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


              SECTION 109 OF THE ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT ACT

                              DEFINITIONS

  Sec. 109. For the purposes of this title, the term--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (8) ``judicial employee'' means any employee of the 
        judicial branch of the Government, of the United States 
        Sentencing Commission, of the Tax Court, of the Claims 
        Court, of the [Court of Veterans Appeals] Court of 
        Appeals for Veterans Claims, or of the United States 
        Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, who is not a 
        judicial officer and who is authorized to perform 
        adjudicatory functions with respect to proceedings in 
        the judicial branch, or who occupies a position for 
        which the rate of basic pay is equal to or greater than 
        120 percent of the minimum rate of basic pay payable 
        for GS-15 of the General Schedule;
          (9) ``Judicial Conference'' means the Judicial 
        Conference of the United States;
          (10) ``judicial officer'' means the Chief Justice of 
        the United States, the Associate Justices of the 
        Supreme Court, and the judges of the United States 
        courts of appeals, United States district courts, 
        including the district courts in the Guam, the Northern 
        Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands, Court of 
        Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Court of International 
        Trade, Tax Court, Claims Court, [Court of Veterans 
        Appeals] Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, United 
        States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and any 
        court created by Act of Congress, the judges of which 
        are entitled to hold office during good behavior;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *