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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    106-470

=======================================================================



 
            VETERANS MILLENNIUM HEALTH CARE AND BENEFITS ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 16, 1999.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Stump, from the Committee of Conference, submitted the following

                           CONFERENCE REPORT

                        [To accompany H.R. 2116]

      The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of 
the two Houses on the amendments of the Senate to the bill 
(H.R. 2116), to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
establish a program of extended care services for veterans and 
to make other improvements in health care programs of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, having met, after full and free 
conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their 
respective Houses as follows:
      That the House recede from its disagreement to the 
amendment of the Senate to the text of the bill and agree to 
the same with an amendment as follows:
      In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the 
Senate amendment, insert the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans 
Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act 
is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.
Sec. 3. Secretary and Department defined.

                         TITLE I--ACCESS TO CARE

                       Subtitle A--Long-Term Care

Sec. 101. Requirement to provide extended care services.
Sec. 102. Pilot programs relating to long-term care.
Sec. 103. Pilot program relating to assisted living.

                Subtitle B--Other Access-to-Care Matters

Sec. 111. Reimbursement for emergency treatment in non-Department of 
          Veterans Affairs facilities.
Sec. 112. Eligibility for care of combat-injured veterans.
Sec. 113. Access to care for TRICARE-eligible military retirees.
Sec. 114. Treatment and services for drug or alcohol dependency.
Sec. 115. Counseling and treatment for veterans who have experienced 
          sexual trauma.
Sec. 116. Specialized mental health services.

                TITLE II--MEDICAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 201. Medical care collections.
Sec. 202. Health Services Improvement Fund.
Sec. 203. Allocation to health care facilities of amounts made available 
          from Medical Care Collections Fund.
Sec. 204. Authority to accept funds for education and training.
Sec. 205. Extension of certain authorities.
Sec. 206. Reestablishment of Committee on Post-Traumatic Stress 
          Disorder.
Sec. 207. State home grant program.
Sec. 208. Expansion of enhanced-use lease authority.
Sec. 209. Ineligibility for employment by Veterans Health Administration 
          of health care professionals who have lost license to practice 
          in one jurisdiction while still licensed in another 
          jurisdiction.
Sec. 210. Report on coordination of procurement of pharmaceuticals and 
          medical supplies by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the 
          Department of Defense.
Sec. 211. Reimbursement of medical expenses of veterans located in 
          Alaska.

               TITLE III--MISCELLANEOUS MEDICAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 301. Review of proposed changes to operation of medical facilities.
Sec. 302. Patient services at Department facilities.
Sec. 303. Chiropractic treatment.
Sec. 304. Designation of hospital bed replacement building at Ioannis A. 
          Lougaris Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Reno, 
          Nevada.

              TITLE IV--CONSTRUCTION AND FACILITIES MATTERS

Sec. 401. Authorization of major medical facility projects.
Sec. 402. Authorization of major medical facility leases.
Sec. 403. Authorization of appropriations.

                TITLE V--BENEFITS AND EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

                    Subtitle A--Compensation and DIC

Sec. 501. Dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses of 
          former prisoners of war.
Sec. 502. Reinstatement of certain benefits for remarried surviving 
          spouses of veterans upon termination of their remarriage.
Sec. 503. Presumption that bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma is service-
          connected.

                         Subtitle B--Employment

Sec. 511. Clarification of veterans' civil service employment 
          opportunities.

                   TITLE VI--MEMORIAL AFFAIRS MATTERS

            Subtitle A--American Battle Monuments Commission

Sec. 601. Codification and expansion of authority for World War II 
          memorial.
Sec. 602. General authority to solicit and receive contributions.
Sec. 603. Intellectual property and related items.
Sec. 604. Technical amendments.

                     Subtitle B--National Cemeteries

Sec. 611. Establishment of additional national cemeteries.
Sec. 612. Use of flat grave markers at Santa Fe National Cemetery, New 
          Mexico.
Sec. 613. Independent study on improvements to veterans' cemeteries.

                       Subtitle C--Burial Benefits

Sec. 621. Independent study on improvements to veterans' burial 
          benefits.

                TITLE VII--EDUCATION AND HOUSING MATTERS

                      Subtitle A--Education Matters

Sec. 701. Availability of Montgomery GI Bill benefits for preparatory 
          courses for college and graduate school entrance exams.
Sec. 702. Determination of eligibility period for members of the Armed 
          Forces commissioned following completion of officer training 
          school.
Sec. 703. Report on veterans' education and vocational training benefits 
          provided by the States.
Sec. 704. Technical amendments.

                       Subtitle B--Housing Matters

Sec. 711. Extension of authority for housing loans for members of the 
          Selected Reserve.
Sec. 712. Technical amendment relating to transitional housing loan 
          guarantee program.

    TITLE VIII--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

Sec. 801. Enhanced quality assurance program within the Veterans 
          Benefits Administration.
Sec. 802. Extension of authority to maintain a regional office in the 
          Republic of the Philippines.
Sec. 803. Extension of Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans.
Sec. 804. Technical amendment to automobile assistance program.

                  TITLE IX--HOMELESS VETERANS PROGRAMS

Sec. 901. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs.
Sec. 902. Extension of program of housing assistance for homeless 
          veterans.
Sec. 903. Homeless veterans programs.
Sec. 904. Plan for evaluation of performance of programs to assist 
          homeless veterans.

       TITLE X--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

Sec. 1001. Short title.
Sec. 1002. Definition.

     Subtitle A--Transitional Provisions To Stagger Terms of Judges

Sec. 1011. Early retirement authority for current judges.
Sec. 1012. Modified terms for next two judges appointed to the Court.

          Subtitle B--Other Matters Relating to Retired Judges

Sec. 1021. Recall of retired judges.
Sec. 1022. Judges' retired pay.
Sec. 1023. Survivor annuities.
Sec. 1024. Limitation on activities of retired judges.

  Subtitle C--Rotation of Service of Judges as Chief Judge of the Court

Sec. 1031. Repeal of separate appointment of chief judge.
Sec. 1032. Designation and term of chief judge of Court.
Sec. 1033. Salary.
Sec. 1034. Precedence of judges.
Sec. 1035. Conforming amendments.
Sec. 1036. Applicability of amendments.

            TITLE XI--VOLUNTARY SEPARATION INCENTIVE PROGRAM

Sec. 1101. Short title.
Sec. 1102. Plan for payment of voluntary separation incentive payments.
Sec. 1103. Voluntary separation incentive payments.
Sec. 1104. Effect of subsequent employment with the Government.
Sec. 1105. Additional agency contributions to Civil Service Retirement 
          and Disability Fund.
Sec. 1106. Continued health insurance coverage.
Sec. 1107. Prohibition of reduction of full-time equivalent employment 
          level.
Sec. 1108. Regulations.
Sec. 1109. Limitation; savings clause.
Sec. 1110. Eligible employees.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this 
Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an 
amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the 
reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other 
provision of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 3. SECRETARY AND DEPARTMENT DEFINED.

    For purposes of this Act--
            (1) the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs; and
            (2) the term ``Department'' means the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs.

                        TITLE I--ACCESS TO CARE

                       Subtitle A--Long-Term Care

SEC. 101. REQUIREMENT TO PROVIDE EXTENDED CARE SERVICES.

    (a) Required Nursing Home Care.--(1) Chapter 17 is amended 
by inserting after section 1710 the following new section:

``Sec. 1710A. Required nursing home care

    ``(a) The Secretary shall provide nursing home care which 
the Secretary determines is needed (1) to any veteran in need 
of such care for a service-connected disability, and (2) to any 
veteran who is in need of such care and who has a service-
connected disability rated at 70 percent or more.
    ``(b)(1) The Secretary shall ensure that a veteran 
described in subsection (a) who continues to need nursing home 
care is not, after placement in a Department nursing home, 
transferred from the facility without the consent of the 
veteran, or, in the event the veteran cannot provide informed 
consent, the representative of the veteran.
    ``(2) Nothing in subsection (a) may be construed as 
authorizing or requiring that a veteran who is receiving 
nursing home care in a Department nursing home on the date of 
the enactment of this section be displaced, transferred, or 
discharged from the facility.
    ``(c) The provisions of subsection (a) shall terminate on 
December 31, 2003.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 
is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1710 
the following new item:

``1710A. Required nursing home care.''.

    (b) Required Noninstitutional Extended Care Services.--
Section 1701 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
paragraph:
    ``(10)(A) During the period beginning on the date of the 
enactment of the Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits 
Act and ending on December 31, 2003, theterm `medical services' 
includes noninstitutional extended care services.
    ``(B) For the purposes of subparagraph (A), the term 
`noninstitutional extended care services' means such 
alternatives to institutional extended care which the Secretary 
may furnish (i) directly, (ii) by contract, or (iii) (through 
provision of case management) by another provider or payor.''.
    (c) Program of Extended Care Services.--(1) Chapter 17 is 
amended by inserting after section 1710A, as added by 
subsection (a), the following new section:

``Sec. 1710B. Extended care services

    ``(a) The Secretary (subject to section 1710(a)(4) of this 
title and subsection (c) of this section) shall operate and 
maintain a program to provide extended care services to 
eligible veterans in accordance with this section. Such 
services shall include the following:
            ``(1) Geriatric evaluation.
            ``(2) Nursing home care (A) in facilities operated 
        by the Secretary, and (B) in community-based facilities 
        through contracts under section 1720 of this title.
            ``(3) Domiciliary services under section 1710(b) of 
        this title.
            ``(4) Adult day health care under section 1720(f) 
        of this title.
            ``(5) Such other noninstitutional alternatives to 
        nursing home care as the Secretary may furnish as 
        medical services under section 1701(10) of this title.
            ``(6) Respite care under section 1720B of this 
        title.
    ``(b) The Secretary shall ensure that the staffing and 
level of extended care services provided by the Secretary 
nationally in facilities of the Department during any fiscal 
year is not less than the staffing and level of such services 
provided nationally in facilities of the Department during 
fiscal year 1998.
    ``(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary 
may not furnish extended care services for a non-service-
connected disability other than in the case of a veteran who 
has a compensable service-connected disability unless the 
veteran agrees to pay to the United States a copayment 
(determined in accordance with subsection (d)) for any period 
of such services in a year after the first 21 days of such 
services provided that veteran in that year.
    ``(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply--
            ``(A) to a veteran whose annual income (determined 
        under section 1503 of this title) is less than the 
        amount in effect under section 1521(b) of this title; 
        or
            ``(B) with respect to an episode of extended care 
        services that a veteran is being furnished by the 
        Department on the date of the enactment of the Veterans 
        Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act.
    ``(d)(1) A veteran who is furnished extended care services 
under this chapter and who is required under subsection (c) to 
pay an amount to the United States in order to be furnished 
such services shall be liable to the United States for that 
amount.
    ``(2) In implementing subsection (c), the Secretary shall 
develop a methodology for establishing the amount of the 
copayment for which a veteran described in subsection (c) is 
liable. That methodology shall provide for--
            ``(A) establishing a maximum monthly copayment 
        (based on all income and assets of the veteran and the 
        spouse of such veteran);
            ``(B) protecting the spouse of a veteran from 
        financial hardship by not counting all of the income 
        and assets of the veteran and spouse (in the case of a 
        spouse who resides in the community) as available for 
        determining the copayment obligation; and
            ``(C) allowing the veteran to retain a monthly 
        personal allowance.
    ``(e)(1) There is established in the Treasury of the United 
States a revolving fund known as the Department of Veterans 
Affairs Extended Care Fund (hereinafter in this section 
referred to as the `fund'). Amounts in the fund shall be 
available, without fiscal year limitation and without further 
appropriation, exclusively for the purpose of providing 
extended care services under subsection (a).
    ``(2) All amounts received by the Department under this 
section shall be deposited in or credited to the fund.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 
is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
1710A, as added by subsection (a)(2), the following new item:

``1710B. Extended care services.''.

    (d) Adult Day Health Care.--Section 1720(f)(1)(A) is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(f)(1)(A) The Secretary may furnish adult day health care 
services to a veteran enrolled under section 1705(a) of this 
title who would otherwise require nursing home care.''.
    (e) Respite Care Program.--Section 1720B is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``eligible'' and 
        inserting ``enrolled'';
            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) by striking ``the term `respite care' 
                means hospital or nursing home care'' and 
                inserting ``the term `respite care services' 
                means care and services'';
                    (B) by striking ``is'' at the beginning of 
                each of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) and 
                inserting ``are''; and
                    (C) by striking ``in a Department 
                facility'' in paragraph (2); and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new 
        subsection:
    ``(c) In furnishing respite care services, the Secretary 
may enter into contract arrangements.''.
    (f) Conforming Amendments.--Section 1710(a) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``, and may 
        furnish nursing home care,'';
            (2) in paragraph (2)(A), by inserting ``or, with 
        respect to nursing home care during any period during 
        which the provisions of section 1710A(a) of this title 
        are in effect, a compensable service-connected 
        disability rated less than 70 percent'' after ``50 
        percent'';
            (3) in paragraph (4), by inserting ``, and the 
        requirement in section 1710B of this title that the 
        Secretary provide a program of extended care 
        services,'' after ``medical services''; and
            (4) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
    ``(5) During any period during which the provisions of 
section 1710A(a) of this title are not in effect, the Secretary 
may furnish nursing home care which the Secretary determines is 
needed to any veteran described in paragraph (1), with the 
priority for such care on the same basis as if provided under 
that paragraph.''.
    (g) State Homes.--Section 1741(a)(2) is amended by striking 
``adult day health care in a State home'' and inserting 
``extended care services described in any of paragraphs (4) 
through (6) of section 1710B(a) of this title under a program 
administered by a State home''.
    (h) Effective Date.--(1) Except as provided in paragraph 
(2), the amendments made by this section shall take effect on 
the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (2) Subsection (c) of section 1710B of title 38, United 
States Code (as added by subsection (b)), shall take effect on 
the effective date of regulations prescribed by the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs under subsections (c) and (d) of such 
section. The Secretary shall publish the effective date of such 
regulations in the Federal Register.
    (3) The provisions of section 1710(f) of title 38, United 
States Code, shall not apply to any day of nursing home care on 
or after the effective date of regulations under paragraph (2).
    (i) Report.--Not later than January 1, 2003, the Secretary 
shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and House of Representatives a report on the operation 
of this section (including the amendments made by this 
section). The Secretary shall include in the report--
            (1) the Secretary's assessment of the experience of 
        the Department under the provisions of this section;
            (2) the costs incurred by the Department under the 
        provisions of this section and a comparison of those 
        costs with the Secretary's estimate of the costs that 
        would have been incurred by the Secretary for extended 
        care services if this section had not been enacted; and
            (3) the Secretary's recommendations, with respect 
        to the provisions of section 1710A(a) of title 38, 
        United States Code, as added by subsection (a), and 
        with respect to the provisions of section 1701(10) of 
        such title, as added by subsection (b), as to--
                    (A) whether those provisions should be 
                extended or made permanent; and
                    (B) what modifications, if any, should be 
                made to those provisions.

SEC. 102. PILOT PROGRAMS RELATING TO LONG-TERM CARE.

    (a) Pilot Programs.--The Secretary shall carry out three 
pilot programs for the purpose of determining the effectiveness 
of different models of all-inclusive care-delivery in reducing 
the use of hospital and nursing home care by frail, elderly 
veterans.
    (b) Locations of Pilot Programs.--In selecting locations in 
which the pilot programs will be carried out, the Secretary may 
not select more than one location in any given health care 
region of the Veterans Health Administration.
    (c) Scope of Services Under Pilot Programs.--Each of the 
pilot programs under this section shall be designed to provide 
participating veterans with integrated, comprehensive services 
which include the following:
            (1) Adult-day health care services on an eight-hour 
        per day, five-day per week basis.
            (2) Medical services (including primary care, 
        preventive services, and nursing home care, as needed).
            (3) Coordination of needed services.
            (4) Transportation services.
            (5) Home care services.
            (6) Respite care.
    (d) Program Requirements.--In carrying out the pilot 
programs under this section, the Secretary shall--
            (1) employ the use of interdisciplinary care-
        management teams to provide the required array of 
        services;
            (2) determine the appropriate number of patients to 
        be enrolled in each program and the criteria for 
        enrollment; and
            (3) ensure that funding for each program is based 
        on the complex care category under the resource 
        allocation system (known as the Veterans Equitable 
        Resource Allocation system) established pursuant to 
        section 429 of Public Law 104-204 (110 Stat. 2929).
    (e) Design of Pilot Programs.--To the maximum extent 
feasible, the Secretary shall use the following three models in 
designing the three pilot programs under this section:
            (1) Under one of the pilot programs, the Secretary 
        shall provide services directly through facilities and 
        personnel of the Department.
            (2) Under one of the pilot programs, the Secretary 
        shall provide services through a combination of--
                    (A) services provided under contract with 
                appropriate public and private entities; and
                    (B) services provided through facilities 
                and personnel of the Department.
            (3) Under one of the pilot programs, the Secretary 
        shall arrange for the provision of services through a 
        combination of--
                    (A) services provided through cooperative 
                arrangements with appropriate public and 
                private entities; and
                    (B) services provided through facilities 
                and personnel of the Department.
    (f) In-Kind Assistance.--In providing for the furnishing of 
services under a contract in carrying out the pilot program 
described in subsection (e)(2), the Secretary may, subject to 
reimbursement, provide in-kind assistance (through the services 
of Department employees and the sharing of other Department 
resources) to a facility furnishing care to veterans. Such 
reimbursement may be made by reduction in the charges to the 
Secretary under such contract.
    (g) Limitation.--In providing for the furnishing of 
services in carrying out a pilot program described in 
subsection (e)(2) or (e)(3), the Secretary shall make payment 
for services only to the extent that payment for such services 
is not otherwise covered (notwithstanding any provision of 
title XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act) by another 
government or nongovernment entity or program.
    (h) Duration of Programs.--The authority of the Secretary 
to provide services under a pilot program under this section 
shall cease on the date that is three years after the date of 
the commencement of that pilot program.
    (i) Report.--(1) Not later than nine months after the 
completion of all of the pilot programs under this section, the 
Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs 
of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report on 
those programs.
    (2) The report shall include the following:
            (A) A description of the implementation and 
        operation of each such program.
            (B) An analysis comparing use of institutional care 
        and use of other services among enrollees in each of 
        the pilot programs with the experience of comparable 
        patients who are not enrolled in one of the pilot 
        programs.
            (C) An assessment of the satisfaction of 
        participating veterans with each of those programs.
            (D) An assessment of the health status of 
        participating veterans in each of those programs and of 
        the ability of those veterans to function 
        independently.
            (E) An analysis of the costs and benefits under 
        each of those programs.

SEC. 103. PILOT PROGRAM RELATING TO ASSISTED LIVING.

    (a) Program Authority.--The Secretary may carry out a pilot 
program for the purpose of determining the feasibility and 
practicability of enabling eligible veterans to secure needed 
assisted living services as an alternative to nursing home 
care.
    (b) Location of Pilot Program.--The pilot program shall be 
carried out in a designated health care region of the 
Department selected by the Secretary for purposes of this 
section.
    (c) Scope of Program.--In carrying out the pilot program, 
the Secretary may enter into contracts with appropriate 
facilities for the provision for a period of up to six months 
of assisted living services on behalf of eligible veterans in 
the region where the program is carried out.
    (d) Eligible Veterans.--A veteran is an eligible veteran 
for purposes of this section if the veteran--
            (1) is eligible for placement assistance by the 
        Secretary under section 1730(a) of title 38, United 
        States Code;
            (2) is unable to manage routine activities of daily 
        living without supervision and assistance; and
            (3) could reasonably be expected to receive ongoing 
        services after the end of the contract period under 
        another government program or through other means.
    (e) Report.--(1) Not later than 90 days before the end of 
the pilot program under this section, the Secretary shall 
submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
the House of Representatives a report on the program.
    (2) The report under paragraph (1) shall include the 
following:
            (A) A description of the implementation and 
        operation of the program.
            (B) An analysis comparing use of institutional care 
        among participants in the program with the experience 
        of comparable patients who are not enrolled in the 
        program.
            (C) A comparison of assisted living services 
        provided by the Department through the pilot program 
        with domiciliary care provided by the Department.
            (D) The Secretary's recommendations, if any, 
        regarding an extension of the program.
    (f) Duration.--The authority of the Secretary to provide 
services under the pilot program shall cease on the date that 
is 3 years after the date of the commencement of the pilot 
program.
    (g) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term 
``assisted living services'' means services in a facility that 
provides room and board and personal care for and supervision 
of residents as necessary for the health, safety, and welfare 
of residents.
    (h) Standards.--The Secretary may not enter into a contract 
with a facility under this section unless the facility meets 
the standards established in regulations prescribed under 
section 1730 of title 38, United States Code.

                Subtitle B--Other Access-to-Care Matters

SEC. 111. REIMBURSEMENT FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT IN NON-DEPARTMENT OF 
                    VETERANS AFFAIRS FACILITIES.

    (a) Authority To Provide Reimbursement.--Chapter 17 is 
amended by inserting after section 1724 the following new 
section:

``Sec. 1725. Reimbursement for emergency treatment

    ``(a) General Authority.--(1) Subject to subsections (c) 
and (d), the Secretary may reimburse a veteran described in 
subsection (b) for the reasonable value of emergency treatment 
furnished the veteran in a non-Department facility.
    ``(2) In any case in which reimbursement is authorized 
under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary, in the Secretary's 
discretion, may, in lieu of reimbursing the veteran, make 
payment of the reasonable value of the furnished emergency 
treatment directly--
            ``(A) to a hospital or other health care provider 
        that furnished the treatment; or
            ``(B) to the person or organization that paid for 
        such treatment on behalf of the veteran.
    ``(b) Eligibility.--(1) A veteran referred to in subsection 
(a)(1) is an individual who is an active Department health-care 
participant who is personally liable for emergency treatment 
furnished the veteran in a non-Department facility.
    ``(2) A veteran is an active Department health-care 
participant if--
            ``(A) the veteran is enrolled in the health care 
        system established under section 1705(a) of this title; 
        and
            ``(B) the veteran received care under this chapter 
        within the 24-month period preceding the furnishing of 
        such emergency treatment.
    ``(3) A veteran is personally liable for emergency 
treatment furnished the veteran in a non-Department facility if 
the veteran--
            ``(A) is financially liable to the provider of 
        emergency treatment for that treatment;
            ``(B) has no entitlement to care or services under 
        a health-plan contract (determined, in the case of a 
        health-plan contract as defined in subsection (f)(2)(B) 
        or (f)(2)(C), without regard to any requirement or 
        limitation relating to eligibility for care or services 
        from any department or agency of the United States);
            ``(C) has no other contractual or legal recourse 
        against a third party that would, in whole or in part, 
        extinguish such liability to the provider; and
            ``(D) is not eligible for reimbursement for medical 
        care or services under section 1728 of this title.
    ``(c) Limitations on Reimbursement.--(1) The Secretary, in 
accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary, 
shall--
            ``(A) establish the maximum amount payable under 
        subsection (a);
            ``(B) delineate the circumstances under which such 
        payments may be made, to include such requirements on 
        requesting reimbursement as the Secretary shall 
        establish; and
            ``(C) provide that in no event may a payment under 
        that subsection include any amount for which the 
        veteran is not personally liable.
    ``(2) Subject to paragraph (1), the Secretary may provide 
reimbursement under this section only after the veteran or the 
provider of emergency treatment has exhausted without success 
all claims and remedies reasonably available to the veteran or 
provider against a third party for payment of such treatment.
    ``(3) Payment by the Secretary under this section on behalf 
of a veteran to a provider of emergency treatment shall, unless 
rejected and refunded by the provider within 30 days of 
receipt, extinguish any liability on the part of the veteran 
for that treatment. Neither the absence of a contract or 
agreement between the Secretary and the provider nor any 
provision of a contract, agreement, or assignment to the 
contrary shall operate to modify, limit, or negate the 
requirement in the preceding sentence.
    ``(d) Independent Right of Recovery.--(1) In accordance 
with regulations prescribed by the Secretary, the United States 
shall have the independent right to recover any amount paid 
under this section when, and to the extent that, a third party 
subsequently makes a payment for the same emergency treatment.
    ``(2) Any amount paid by the United States to the veteran 
(or the veteran's personal representative, successor, 
dependents, or survivors) or to any other person or 
organization paying for such treatment shall constitute a lien 
in favor of the United States against any recovery the payee 
subsequently receives from a third party for the same 
treatment.
    ``(3) Any amount paid by the United States to the provider 
that furnished the veteran's emergency treatment shall 
constitute a lien against any subsequent amount the provider 
receives from a third party for the same emergency treatment 
for which the United States made payment.
    ``(4) The veteran (or the veteran's personal 
representative, successor, dependents, or survivors) shall 
ensure that the Secretary is promptly notified of any payment 
received from any third party for emergency treatment furnished 
to the veteran. The veteran (or the veteran's personal 
representative, successor, dependents, or survivors) shall 
immediately forward all documents relating to such payment, 
cooperate with the Secretary in the investigation of such 
payment, and assist the Secretary in enforcing the United 
States right to recover any payment made under subsection 
(c)(3).
    ``(e) Waiver.--The Secretary, in the Secretary's 
discretion, may waive recovery of a payment made to a veteran 
under this section that is otherwise required by subsection 
(d)(1) when the Secretary determines that such waiver would be 
in the best interest of the United States, as defined by 
regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
    ``(f) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
            ``(1) The term `emergency treatment' means medical 
        care or services furnished, in the judgment of the 
        Secretary--
                    ``(A) when Department or other Federal 
                facilities are not feasibly available and an 
                attempt to use them beforehand would not be 
                reasonable;
                    ``(B) when such care or services are 
                rendered in a medical emergency of such nature 
                that a prudent layperson reasonably expects 
                that delay in seeking immediate medical 
                attention would be hazardous to life or health; 
                and
                    ``(C) until such time as the veteran can be 
                transferred safely to a Department facility or 
                other Federal facility.
            ``(2) The term `health-plan contract' includes any 
        of the following:
                    ``(A) An insurance policy or contract, 
                medical or hospital service agreement, 
                membership or subscription contract, or similar 
                arrangement under which health services for 
                individuals are provided or the expenses of 
                such services are paid.
                    ``(B) An insurance program described in 
                section 1811 of the Social Security Act (42 
                U.S.C. 1395c) or established by section 1831 of 
                that Act (42 U.S.C. 1395j).
                    ``(C) A State plan for medical assistance 
                approved under title XIX of such Act (42 U.S.C. 
                1396 et seq.).
                    ``(D) A workers' compensation law or plan 
                described in section 1729(a)(2)(A) of this 
                title.
                    ``(E) A law of a State or political 
                subdivision described in section 1729(a)(2)(B) 
                of this title.
            ``(3) The term `third party' means any of the 
        following:
                    ``(A) A Federal entity.
                    ``(B) A State or political subdivision of a 
                State.
                    ``(C) An employer or an employer's 
                insurance carrier.
                    ``(D) An automobile accident reparations 
                insurance carrier.
                    ``(E) A person or entity obligated to 
                provide, or to pay the expenses of, health 
                services under a health-plan contract.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--(1) Section 1729A(b) is 
amended--
            (A) by redesignating paragraphs (5) and (6) as 
        paragraphs (6) and (7), respectively; and
            (B) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following 
        new paragraph:
            ``(5) Section 1725 of this title.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 
is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1724 
the following new item:

``1725. Reimbursement for emergency treatment.''.

    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section 
shall take effect 180 days after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.
    (d) Implementation Reports.--The Secretary shall include 
with the budget justification materials submitted to Congress 
in support of the Department of Veterans Affairs budget for 
fiscal year 2002 and for fiscal year 2003 a report on the 
implementation of section 1725 of title 38, United States Code, 
as added by subsection (a). Each such report shall include 
information on the experience of the Department under that 
section and the costs incurred, and expected to be incurred, 
under that section.

SEC. 112. ELIGIBILITY FOR CARE OF COMBAT-INJURED VETERANS.

    Chapter 17 is amended--
            (1) in section 1710(a)(2)(D), by inserting ``or who 
        was awarded the Purple Heart'' after ``former prisoner 
        of war''; and
            (2) in section 1705(a)(3), by inserting ``or who 
        were awarded the Purple Heart'' after ``former 
        prisoners of war''.

SEC. 113. ACCESS TO CARE FOR TRICARE-ELIGIBLE MILITARY RETIREES.

    (a) Interagency Agreement.--(1) The Secretary of Defense 
shall enter into an agreement (characterized as a memorandum of 
understanding or otherwise) with the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs with respect to the provision of medical care by the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to eligible military retirees in 
accordance with the provisions of subsection (c). That 
agreement shall include provisions for reimbursement of the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs by the Secretary of Defense for 
medical care provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
an eligible military retiree and may include such other 
provisions with respect to the terms and conditions of such 
care as may be agreed upon by the two Secretaries.
    (2) Reimbursement under the agreement under paragraph (1) 
shall be in accordance with rates agreed upon by the Secretary 
of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Such 
reimbursement may be made by the Secretary of Defense or by the 
appropriate TRICARE Managed Care Support contractor, as 
determined in accordance with that agreement.
    (3) In entering into the agreement under paragraph (1), 
particularly with respect to determination of the rates of 
reimbursement under paragraph (2), the Secretary ofDefense 
shall consult with TRICARE Managed Care Support contractors.
    (4) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may not enter into an 
agreement under paragraph (1) for the provision of care in 
accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) with respect 
to any geographic service area, or a part of any such area, of 
the Veterans Health Administration unless--
            (A) in the judgment of that Secretary, the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs will recover the costs 
        of providing such care to eligible military retirees; 
        and
            (B) that Secretary has certified and documented, 
        with respect to any geographic service area in which 
        the Secretary proposes to provide care in accordance 
        with the provisions of subsection (c), that such 
        geographic service area, or designated part of any such 
        area, has adequate capacity (consistent with the 
        requirements in section 1705(b)(1) of title 38, United 
        States Code, that care to enrollees shall be timely and 
        acceptable in quality) to provide such care.
    (5) The agreement under paragraph (1) shall be entered into 
by the Secretaries not later than nine months after the date of 
the enactment of this Act. If the Secretaries are unable to 
reach agreement, they shall jointly report, by that date or 
within 30 days thereafter, to the Committees on Armed Services 
and the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House 
of Representatives on the reasons for their inability to reach 
an agreement and their mutually agreed plan for removing any 
impediments to final agreement.
    (b) Depositing of Reimbursements.--Amounts received by the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs under the agreement under 
subsection (a) shall be deposited in the Department of Veterans 
Affairs Health Services Improvement Fund established under 
section 1729B of title 38, United States Code, as added by 
section 202.
    (c) Copayment Requirement.--The provisions of subsections 
(f)(1) and (g)(1) of section 1710 of title 38, United States 
Code, shall not apply in the case of an eligible military 
retiree who is covered by the agreement under subsection (a).
    (d) Phased Implementation.--(1) The Secretary of Defense 
shall include in each TRICARE contract entered into after the 
date of the enactment of this Act provisions to implement the 
agreement under subsection (a).
    (2) The provisions of the agreement under subsection (a)(2) 
and the provisions of subsection (c) shall apply to the 
furnishing of medical care by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
in any area of the United States only if that area is covered 
by a TRICARE contract that was entered into after the date of 
the enactment of this Act.
    (e) Eligible Military Retirees.--For purposes of this 
section, an eligible military retiree is a member of the Army, 
Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps who--
            (1) has retired from active military, naval, or air 
        service;
            (2) is eligible for care under the TRICARE program 
        established by the Secretary of Defense;
            (3) has enrolled for care under section 1705 of 
        title 38, United States Code; and
            (4) is not described in paragraph (1) or (2) of 
        section 1710(a) of such title.

SEC. 114. TREATMENT AND SERVICES FOR DRUG OR ALCOHOL DEPENDENCY.

    (a) Authority To Provide Treatment and Services for Members 
on Active Duty.--Section 1720A(c) is amended in the first 
sentence of paragraph (1)--
            (1) by striking ``may not be transferred'' and 
        inserting ``may be transferred''; and
            (2) by striking ``unless such transfer is during 
        the last thirty days of such member's enlistment or 
        tour of duty''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The first sentence of paragraph 
(2) of that section is amended by striking ``during the last 
thirty days of such person's enlistment period or tour of 
duty''.

SEC. 115. COUNSELING AND TREATMENT FOR VETERANS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED 
                    SEXUAL TRAUMA.

    (a) Extension of Period of Program.--Subsection (a) of 
section 1720D is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``December 31, 
        2001'' and inserting ``December 31, 2004''; and
            (2) in paragraph (3), by striking ``December 31, 
        2001'' and inserting ``December 31, 2004''.
    (b) Mandatory Nature of Program.--(1) Subsection (a)(1) of 
such section is further amended by striking ``may provide 
counseling to a veteran who the Secretary determines requires 
such counseling'' and inserting ``shall operate a program under 
which the Secretary provides counseling and appropriate care 
and services to veterans who the Secretary determines require 
such counseling and care and services''.
    (2) Subsection (a) of such section is further amended--
            (A) by striking paragraph (2); and
            (B) by redesignating paragraph (3) (as amended by 
        subsection (a)(2)) as paragraph (2).
    (c) Outreach Efforts.--Subsection (c) of such section is 
amended--
            (1) by inserting ``and treatment'' in the first 
        sentence and in paragraph (2) after ``counseling'';
            (2) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph 
        (1);
            (3) by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph 
        (3); and
            (4) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following 
        new paragraph (2):
            ``(2) shall ensure that information about the 
        counseling and treatment available to veterans under 
        this section--
                    ``(A) is revised and updated as 
                appropriate;
                    ``(B) is made available and visibly posted 
                at appropriate facilities of the Department; 
                and
                    ``(C) is made available through appropriate 
                public information services; and''.
    (d) Report on Implementation of Outreach Activities.--Not 
later than six months after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the Secretary's implementation of 
paragraph (2) of section 1720D(c) of title 38, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (c). Such report shall include 
examples of the documents and other means of communication 
developed for compliance with that paragraph.
    (e) Study of Expanding Eligibility for Counseling and 
Treatment.--(1) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in 
consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall conduct a 
study to determine--
            (A) the extent to which former members of the 
        reserve components of the Armed Forces experienced 
        physical assault of a sexual nature or battery of a 
        sexual nature while serving on active duty for 
        training;
            (B) the extent to which such former members have 
        sought counseling from the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs relating to those incidents; and
            (C) the additional resources that, in the judgment 
        of the Secretary, would be required to meet the 
        projected need of those former members for such 
        counseling.
    (2) Not later than 16 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
House of Representatives a report on the results of the study 
conducted under paragraph (1).
    (f) Oversight of Outreach Activities.--Not later than 14 
months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense 
shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a 
joint report describing in detail the collaborative efforts of 
the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of 
Defense to ensure that members of the Armed Forces, upon 
separation from active military, naval, or air service, are 
provided appropriate and current information about programs of 
the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide counseling and 
treatment for sexual trauma that may have been experienced by 
those members while in the active military, naval, or air 
service, including information about eligibility requirements 
for, and procedures for applying for, such counseling and 
treatment. The report shall include proposed recommendations 
from both the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary 
of Defense for the improvement of their collaborative efforts 
to provide such information.
    (g) Report on Implementation of Sexual Trauma Treatment 
Program.--Not later than 14 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the use made of the authority 
provided under section 1720D of title 38, United States Code, 
as amended by this section. The report shall include the 
following with respect to activities under that section since 
the enactment of this Act:
            (1) The number of veterans who have received 
        counseling under that section.
            (2) The number of veterans who have been referred 
        to non-Department mental health facilities and 
        providers in connection with sexual trauma counseling 
        and treatment.

SEC. 116. SPECIALIZED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.

    (a) Improvement to Specialized Mental Health Services.--The 
Secretary, in furtherance of the responsibilities of the 
Secretary under section 1706(b) of title 38, United States 
Code, shall carry out a program to expand and improve the 
provision of specialized mental health services to veterans. 
The Secretary shall establish the program in consultation with 
the Committee on Care of Severely Chronically Mentally Ill 
Veterans established pursuant to section 7321 of title 38, 
United States Code.
    (b) Covered Programs.--For purposes of this section, the 
term ``specialized mental health services'' includes programs 
relating to--
            (1) the treatment of post-traumatic stress 
        disorder; and
            (2) substance use disorders.
    (c) Funding.--(1) In carrying out the program described in 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall identify, from funds 
available to the Department for medical care, an amount of not 
less than $15,000,000 to be available to carry out the program 
and to be allocated to facilities of the Department pursuant to 
subsection (d).
    (2) In identifying available amounts pursuant to paragraph 
(1), the Secretary shall ensure that, after the allocation of 
those funds under subsection (d), the total expenditure for 
programs relating to (A) the treatment of post-traumatic stress 
disorder, and (B) substance use disorders is not less than 
$15,000,000 in excess of the baseline amount.
    (3) For purposes of paragraph (2), the baseline amount is 
the amount of the total expenditures on such programs for the 
most recent fiscal year for which final expenditure amounts are 
known, adjusted to reflect any subsequent increase in 
applicable costs to deliver such services in the Veterans 
Health Administration, as determined by the Committee on Care 
of Severely Chronically Mentally Ill Veterans.
    (d) Allocation of Funds to Department Facilities.--The 
Secretary shall allocate funds identified pursuant to 
subsection (c)(1) to individual medical facilities of the 
Department as the Secretary determines appropriate based upon 
proposals submitted by those facilities for the use of those 
funds for improvements to specialized mental health services.
    (e) Report.--Not later than 12 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report describing the implementation of this 
section. The Secretary shall include in the report information 
on the allocation of funds to facilities of the Department 
under the program and a description of the improvements made 
with those funds to specialized mental health services for 
veterans.

                TITLE II--MEDICAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

SEC. 201. MEDICAL CARE COLLECTIONS.

    (a) Limited Authority To Set Copayments.--Section 1722A is 
amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as 
        subsections (c) and (d), respectively;
            (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following 
        new subsection (b):
    ``(b) The Secretary, pursuant to regulations which the 
Secretary shall prescribe, may--
            ``(1) increase the copayment amount in effect under 
        subsection (a); and
            ``(2) establish a maximum monthly and a maximum 
        annual pharmaceutical copayment amount under subsection 
        (a) for veterans who have multiple outpatient 
        prescriptions.''; and
            (3) in subsection (c), as redesignated by paragraph 
        (1)--
                    (A) by striking ``this section'' and 
                inserting ``subsection (a)''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following new 
                sentence: ``Amounts collected through use of 
                the authority under subsection (b) shall be 
                deposited in the Department of Veterans Affairs 
                Health Services Improvement Fund.''.
    (b) Outpatient Treatment.--Section 1710(g) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``the amount 
        determined under paragraph (2) of this subsection'' and 
        inserting ``in the case of each outpatient visit the 
        applicable amount or amounts established by the 
        Secretary by regulation''; and
            (2) in paragraph (2), by striking all after ``for 
        an amount'' and inserting ``which the Secretary shall 
        establish by regulation.''.

SEC. 202. HEALTH SERVICES IMPROVEMENT FUND.

    (a) Establishment of Fund.--Chapter 17 is amended by 
inserting after section 1729A the following new section:

``Sec. 1729B. Health Services Improvement Fund

    ``(a) There is established in the Treasury of the United 
States a fund to be known as the Department of Veterans Affairs 
Health Services Improvement Fund.
    ``(b) Amounts received or collected after the date of the 
enactment of this section under any of the following provisions 
of law shall be deposited in the fund:
            ``(1) Section 1713A of this title.
            ``(2) Section 1722A(b) of this title.
            ``(3) Section 8165(a) of this title.
            ``(4) Section 113 of the Veterans Millennium Health 
        Care and Benefits Act.
    ``(c) Amounts in the fund are hereby available, without 
fiscal year limitation, to the Secretary for the purposes 
stated in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 1729A(c)(1) of 
this title.
    ``(d) The Secretary shall allocate amounts in the fund in 
the same manner as applies under subsection (d) of section 
1729A of this title with respect to amounts made available from 
the fund under that section.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
beginning of such chapter is amended by insertingafter the item 
relating to section 1729A the following new item:
``1729B. Health Services Improvement Fund.''.

SEC. 203. ALLOCATION TO HEALTH CARE FACILITIES OF AMOUNTS MADE 
                    AVAILABLE FROM MEDICAL CARE COLLECTIONS FUND.

    Section 1729A(d) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``(1)'';
            (2) by striking ``each designated health care 
        region'' and inserting ``each Department health care 
        facility'';
            (3) by striking ``each region'' and inserting 
        ``each facility'';
            (4) by striking ``such region'' both places it 
        appears and inserting ``such facility''; and
            (5) by striking paragraph (2).

SEC. 204. AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT FUNDS FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING.

    (a) Establishment of Nonprofit Corporations at Medical 
Centers.--Section 7361(a) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``and education'' after 
        ``research''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following: ``Such a 
        corporation may be established to facilitate either 
        research or education or both research and 
        education.''.
    (b) Purpose of Corporations.--Section 7362 is amended--
            (1) in the first sentence--
                    (A) by inserting ``(a)'' before ``Any 
                corporation''; and
                    (B) by inserting ``and education and 
                training as described in sections 7302, 7471, 
                8154, and 1701(6)(B) of this title'' after ``of 
                this title'';
            (2) in the second sentence--
                    (A) by inserting ``or education'' after 
                ``research''; and
                    (B) by striking ``that purpose'' and 
                inserting ``these purposes''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new 
        subsection:
    ``(b) For purposes of this section, the term `education and 
training' means the following:
            ``(1) In the case of employees of the Veterans 
        Health Administration, such term means work-related 
        instruction or other learning experiences to--
                    ``(A) improve performance of current 
                duties;
                    ``(B) assist employees in maintaining or 
                gaining specialized proficiencies; and
                    ``(C) expand understanding of advances and 
                changes in patient care, technology, and health 
                care administration.
        Such term includes (in the case of such employees) 
        education and training conducted as part of a residency 
        or other program designed to prepare an individual for 
        an occupation or profession.
            ``(2) In the case of veterans under the care of the 
        Veterans Health Administration, such term means 
        instruction or other learning experiences related to 
        improving and maintaining the health of veterans to 
        patients and to the families and guardians of 
        patients.''.
    (c) Board of Directors.--Section 7363(a) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1), by striking all after 
        ``medical center, and'' and inserting ``as appropriate, 
        the assistant chief of staff for research for the 
        medical center and the assistant chief of staff for 
        education for the medical center, or, in the case of a 
        facility at which such positions do not exist, those 
        officials who are responsible for carrying out the 
        responsibilities of the medical center director, chief 
        of staff, and, as appropriate, the assistant chief of 
        staff for research and the assistant chief of staff for 
        education; and'';
            (2) in subsection (a)(2), by inserting ``or 
        education, as appropriate'' after ``research''; and
            (3) in subsection (c), by inserting ``or 
        education'' after ``research''.
    (d) Approval of Expenditures.--Section 7364 is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(c)(1) A corporation established under this subchapter 
may not spend funds for an education activity unless the 
activity is approved in accordance with procedures prescribed 
by the Under Secretary for Health.
    ``(2) The Under Secretary for Health shall prescribe 
policies and procedures to guide the expenditure of funds by 
corporations under paragraph (1) consistent with the purpose of 
such corporations as flexible funding mechanisms.''.
    (e) Accountability and Oversight.--Section 7366(d) is 
amended--
            (1) in paragraph (2)(B), by inserting ``for 
        research and the amount received from governmental 
        entities for education'' after ``entities'';
            (2) in paragraph (2)(C), by inserting ``for 
        research and the amount received from all other sources 
        for education'' after ``sources'';
            (3) in paragraph (2)(D), by striking ``the'' and 
        inserting ``a'';
            (4) in paragraph (3)(A), by striking ``and'' and 
        inserting ``, the amount expended for salary for 
        education staff, and the amount expended'';
            (5) in paragraph (3)(B), by inserting ``and the 
        amount expended for direct support of education'' after 
        ``research''; and
            (6) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(4) The amount expended by each corporation 
        during the year for travel conducted in conjunction 
        with research and the amount expended for travel in 
        conjunction with education.''.

SEC. 205. EXTENSION OF CERTAIN AUTHORITIES.

    (a) Readjustment Counseling.--Section 1712A(a)(1)(B)(ii) is 
amended by striking ``January 1, 2000'' and inserting ``January 
1, 2004''.
    (b) Newsletter on Medical Care for Persian Gulf Veterans.--
Section 105(b)(2) of the Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits 
Act (title I of Public Law 103-446; 108 Stat. 4659; 38 U.S.C. 
1117 note) is amended by striking ``December 31, 1999'' and 
inserting ``December 31, 2003''.
    (c) Evaluation of Health of Spouses and Children of Persian 
Gulf Veterans.--Section 107(b) of that Act is amended by 
striking ``December 31, 1999'' and inserting ``December 31, 
2003''.

SEC. 206. REESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS 
                    DISORDER.

    Section 110 of the Veterans' Health Care Act of 1984 (38 
U.S.C. 1712A note) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``Chief Medical Director'' each 
        place it appears and inserting ``Under Secretary for 
        Health'';
            (2) by striking ``Veterans' Administration'' each 
        place it appears (other than in subsection (a)(1)) and 
        inserting ``Department'';
            (3) by striking ``Veterans' Administration'' in 
        subsection (a)(1) and inserting ``Department of 
        Veterans Affairs'';
            (4) by striking ``Department of Medicine and 
        Surgery'' each place it appears and inserting 
        ``Veterans Health Administration'';
            (5) by striking ``section 612A'' in subsection 
        (a)(2) and inserting ``section 1712A'';
            (6) by striking ``Department'' in the second 
        sentence of subsection (b)(1) and inserting ``Veterans 
        Health Administration'';
            (7) by striking ``Department of Veterans' 
        Benefits'' in subsection (b)(4)(E) and inserting 
        ``Veterans Benefits Administration'';
            (8) in subsection (e)(1), by striking ``Not later 
        than March 1, 1985, the Administrator'' and inserting 
        ``Not later than March 1, 2000, the Secretary''; and
            (9) in subsection (e)(2)--
                    (A) by striking ``Not later than February 
                1, 1986'' and inserting ``Not later than 
                February 1, 2001'';
                    (B) by striking ``Administrator'' and 
                inserting ``Secretary''; and
                    (C) by striking ``before the submission of 
                such report'' and inserting ``since the 
                enactment of the Veterans Millennium Health 
                Care and Benefits Act''.

SEC. 207. STATE HOME GRANT PROGRAM.

    (a) General Regulations.--Section 8134 is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection 
        (c);
            (2) by striking the matter in subsection (a) 
        preceding paragraph (2) and inserting the following:
    ``(a)(1) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for the 
purposes of this subchapter.
    ``(2) In those regulations, the Secretary shall prescribe 
for each State the number of nursing home and domiciliary beds 
for which assistance under this subchapter may be furnished. 
Such regulations shall be based on projected demand for such 
care 10 years after the date of the enactment of the Veterans 
Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act by veterans who at such 
time are 65 years of age or older and who reside in that State. 
In determining such projected demand, the Secretary shall take 
into account travel distances for veterans and their families.
    ``(3)(A) In those regulations, the Secretary shall 
establish criteria under which the Secretary shall determine, 
with respect to an application for assistance under this 
subchapter for a project described in subparagraph (B) which is 
from a State that has a need for additional beds as determined 
under subsections (a)(2) and (d)(1), whether the need for such 
beds is most aptly characterized as great, significant, or 
limited. Such criteria shall take into account the availability 
of beds already operated by the Secretary and other providers 
which appropriately servethe needs which the State proposes to 
meet with its application.
    ``(B) This paragraph applies to a project for the 
construction or acquisition of a new State home facility, a 
project to increase the number of beds available at a State 
home facility, and a project to replace beds at a State home 
facility.
    ``(4) The Secretary shall review and, as necessary, revise 
regulations prescribed under paragraphs (2) and (3) not less 
often than every four years.
    ``(b) The Secretary shall prescribe the following by 
regulation:'';
            (3) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) of 
        subsection (b), as designated by paragraph (2), as 
        paragraphs (1) and (2);
            (4) in subsection (c), as redesignated by paragraph 
        (1), by striking ``subsection (a)(3)'' and inserting 
        ``subsection (b)(2)''; and
            (5) by adding at the end the following new 
        subsection:
    ``(d)(1) In prescribing regulations to carry out this 
subchapter, the Secretary shall provide that in the case of a 
State that seeks assistance under this subchapter for a project 
described in subsection (a)(3)(B), the determination of the 
unmet need for beds for State homes in that State shall be 
reduced by the number of beds in all previous applications 
submitted by that State under this subchapter, including beds 
which have not been recognized by the Secretary under section 
1741 of this title.
    ``(2)(A) Financial assistance under this subchapter for a 
renovation project may only be provided for a project for which 
the total cost of construction is in excess of $400,000 (as 
adjusted from time to time in such regulations to reflect 
changes in costs of construction).
    ``(B) For purposes of this paragraph, a renovation project 
is a project to remodel or alter existing buildings for which 
financial assistance under this subchapter may be provided and 
does not include maintenance and repair work which is the 
responsibility of the State.''.
    (b) Applications With Respect to Projects.--Section 8135 is 
amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by striking ``set forth--'' in the 
                matter preceding paragraph (1) and inserting 
                ``set forth the following:'';
                    (B) by capitalizing the first letter of the 
                first word in each of paragraphs (1) through 
                (9);
                    (C) by striking the comma at the end of 
                each of paragraphs (1) through (7) and 
                inserting a period; and
                    (D) by striking ``, and'' at the end of 
                paragraph (8) and inserting a period;
            (2) by redesignating subsections (b), (c), (d), and 
        (e) as subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f), 
        respectively;
            (3) by inserting after subsection (a) the following 
        new subsection (b):
    ``(b)(1) Any State seeking to receive assistance under this 
subchapter for a project that would involve construction or 
acquisition of either nursing home or domiciliary facilities 
shall include with its application under subsection (a) the 
following:
            ``(A) Documentation (i) that the site for the 
        project is in reasonable proximity to a sufficient 
        concentration and population of veterans who are 65 
        years of age and older, and (ii) that there is a 
        reasonable basis to conclude that the facilities when 
        complete will be fully occupied.
            ``(B) A financial plan for the first three years of 
        operation of such facilities.
            ``(C) A five-year capital plan for the State home 
        program for that State.
    ``(2) Failure to provide adequate documentation under 
paragraph (1)(A) or to provide an adequate financial plan under 
paragraph (1)(B) shall be a basis for disapproving the 
application.''; and
            (4) in subsection (c), as redesignated by paragraph 
        (2)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``for a 
                grant under subsection (a) of this section'' in 
                the matter preceding subparagraph (A) and 
                inserting ``under subsection (a) for financial 
                assistance under this subchapter'';
                    (B) in paragraph (2)--
                            (i) by striking ``the construction 
                        or acquisition of'' in subparagraph 
                        (A); and
                            (ii) by striking subparagraphs (B), 
                        (C), and (D) and inserting the 
                        following:
            ``(B) An application from a State for a project at 
        an existing facility to remedy a condition or 
        conditions that have been cited by an accrediting 
        institution, by the Secretary, or by a local licensing 
        or approving body of the State as being threatening to 
        the lives or safety of the patients in the facility.
            ``(C) An application from a State that has not 
        previously applied for award of a grant under 
thissubchapter for construction or acquisition of a State nursing home.
            ``(D) An application for construction or 
        acquisition of a nursing home or domiciliary from a 
        State that the Secretary determines, in accordance with 
        regulations under this subchapter, has a great need for 
        the beds to be established at such home or facility.
            ``(E) An application from a State for renovations 
        to a State home facility other than renovations 
        described in subparagraph (B).
            ``(F) An application for construction or 
        acquisition of a nursing home or domiciliary from a 
        State that the Secretary determines, in accordance with 
        regulations under this subchapter, has a significant 
        need for the beds to be established at such home or 
        facility.
            ``(G) An application that meets other criteria as 
        the Secretary determines appropriate and has 
        established in regulations.
            ``(H) An application for construction or 
        acquisition of a nursing home or domiciliary from a 
        State that the Secretary determines, in accordance with 
        regulations under this subchapter, has a limited need 
        for the beds to be established at such home or 
        facility.''; and
                    (C) in paragraph (3), by striking 
                subparagraph (A) and inserting the following:
            ``(A) may not accord any priority to a project for 
        the construction or acquisition of a hospital; and''.
    (c) Transition.--(1) The provisions of sections 8134 and 
8135 of title 38, United States Code, as in effect on November 
10, 1999, shall continue in effect after that date with respect 
to applications described in section 8135(b)(2)(A) of such 
title, as in effect on that date, that are identified in 
paragraph (2) (and to projects and grants pursuant to those 
applications). The Secretary shall accord priority among those 
applications in the order listed in paragraph (2).
    (2) Applications covered by paragraph (1) are the 
following:
            (A) Any application for a fiscal year 1999 priority 
        one project.
            (B) Any application for a fiscal year 2000 priority 
        one project that was submitted by a State that (i) did 
        not receive grant funds from amounts appropriated for 
        fiscal year 1999 under the State home grant program, 
        and (ii) does not have any fiscal year 1999 priority 
        one projects.
    (3) For purposes of this subsection--
            (A) the term ``fiscal year 1999 priority one 
        project'' means a project on the list of approved 
        projects established by the Secretary on October 29, 
        1998, under section 8135(b)(4) of title 38, United 
        States Code, as in effect on that date that (pursuant 
        to section 8135(b)(2)(A) of that title) is in the 
        grouping of projects on that list designated as 
        Priority Group 1;
            (B) the term ``fiscal year 2000 priority one 
        project'' means a project on the list of approved 
        projects established by the Secretary on November 3, 
        1999, under section 8135(b)(4) of title 38, United 
        States Code, as in effect on that date that (pursuant 
        to section 8135(b)(2)(A) of that title) is in the 
        grouping of projects on that list designated as 
        Priority Group 1; and
            (C) the term ``State home grant program'' means the 
        grant program under subchapter III of chapter 81 of 
        title 38, United States Code.
    (d) Effective Date for Initial Regulations.--The Secretary 
shall prescribe the initial regulations under subsection (a) of 
section 8134 of title 38, United States Code, as added by 
subsection (a), not later than April 30, 2000.

SEC. 208. EXPANSION OF ENHANCED-USE LEASE AUTHORITY.

    (a) Authority.--Section 8162(a)(2) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``only if the Secretary'' and 
        inserting ``only if--
            ``(A) the Secretary'';
            (2) by redesignating subparagraphs (A), (B), and 
        (C) as clauses (i), (ii), and (iii), respectively, and 
        realigning those clauses so as to be four ems from the 
        left margin;
            (3) by striking the period at the end of clause 
        (iii), as so redesignated, and inserting ``; or''; and
            (4) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(B) the Secretary determines that the 
        implementation of a business plan proposed by the Under 
        Secretary for Health for applying the consideration 
        under such a lease to the provision of medical care and 
        services would result in a demonstrable improvement of 
        services to eligible veterans in the geographic 
        service-delivery area within which the property is 
        located.''.
    (b) Term of Enhanced-Use Lease.--Section 8162(b) is 
amended--
            (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ``may not 
        exceed--'' and all that follows and inserting ``may not 
        exceed 75 years.''; and
            (2) by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the 
        following:
    ``(4) The terms of an enhanced-use lease may provide for 
the Secretary to--
            ``(A) obtain facilities, space, or services on the 
        leased property; and
            ``(B) use minor construction funds for capital 
        contribution payments.''.
    (c) Designation of Property Proposed To Be Leased.--(1) 
Subsection (b) of section 8163 is amended--
            (A) by striking ``include--'' and inserting 
        ``include the following:'';
            (B) by capitalizing the first letter of the first 
        word of each of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5);
            (C) by striking the semicolon at the end of 
        paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) and inserting a period; 
        and
            (D) by striking subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of 
        paragraph (4) and inserting the following:
                    ``(A) would--
                            ``(i) contribute in a cost-
                        effective manner to the mission of the 
                        Department;
                            ``(ii) not be inconsistent with the 
                        mission of the Department;
                            ``(iii) not adversely affect the 
                        mission of the Department; and
                            ``(iv) affect services to veterans; 
                        or
                    ``(B) would result in a demonstrable 
                improvement of services to eligible veterans in 
                the geographic service-delivery area within 
                which the property is located.''.
    (2) Subparagraph (E) of subsection (c)(1) of that section 
is amended by striking clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) and 
inserting the following:
                    ``(i) would--
                            ``(I) contribute in a cost-
                        effective manner to the mission of the 
                        Department;
                            ``(II) not be inconsistent with the 
                        mission of the Department;
                            ``(III) not adversely affect the 
                        mission of the Department; and
                            ``(IV) affect services to veterans; 
                        or
                    ``(ii) would result in a demonstrable 
                improvement of services to eligible veterans in 
                the geographic service-delivery area within 
                which the property is located.''.
    (d) Use of Proceeds.--Section 8165(a) is amended by 
striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
    ``(a)(1) Funds received by the Department under an 
enhanced-use lease and remaining after any deduction from those 
funds under subsection (b) shall be deposited in the Department 
of Veterans Affairs Health Services Improvement Fund 
established under section 1729B of this title.''.
    (e) Extension of Authority.--Section 8169 is amended by 
striking ``December 31, 2001'' and inserting ``December 31, 
2011''.
    (f) Training and Outreach Regarding Authority.--The 
Secretary shall take appropriate actions to provide training 
and outreach to personnel at Department medical centers 
regarding the enhanced-use lease authority under subchapter V 
of chapter 81 of title 38, United States Code. The training and 
outreach shall address methods of approaching potential lessees 
in the medical or commercial sectors regarding the possibility 
of entering into leases under that authority and other 
appropriate matters.
    (g) Independent Analysis of Opportunities for Use of 
Authority.--(1) The Secretary shall take appropriate actions to 
secure from an appropriate entity (or entities) independent of 
the Department an analysis (or analyses) of opportunities for 
the use of the enhanced-use lease authority under subchapter V 
of chapter 81 of title 38, United States Code.
    (2) An analysis under paragraph (1) shall include--
            (A) a survey of facilities of the Department for 
        purposes of identifying Department property that 
        presents an opportunity for lease under the enhanced-
        use lease authority;
            (B) an assessment of the feasibility of entering 
        into enhanced-use leases under that authority in the 
        case of any property identified under subparagraph (A) 
        as presenting an opportunity for such lease; and
            (C) an assessment of the resources required at the 
        Department facilities concerned, and at the Department 
        Central Office, in order to facilitate the entering 
        into of enhanced-used leases in the case of property so 
        identified.
    (3) If as a result of a survey under paragraph (2)(A) an 
entity carrying out an analysis under this subsection 
determines that a particular Department property presents no 
opportunities for lease under the enhanced-use lease authority, 
the analysis shall include the entity's explanation of that 
determination.
    (4) If as a result of such a survey an entity carrying out 
an analysis under this subsection determines that certain 
Department property presents an opportunity for lease under the 
enhanced-use lease authority, the analysis shall include a 
single integrated business plan, developed by the entity, that 
addresses the strategy and resources necessary to implement the 
plan for all property determined to present an opportunity for 
such lease.

SEC. 209. INELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT BY VETERANS HEALTH 
                    ADMINISTRATION OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS WHO 
                    HAVE LOST LICENSE TO PRACTICE IN ONE JURISDICTION 
                    WHILE STILL LICENSED IN ANOTHER JURISDICTION.

    Section 7402 is amended by adding at the end the following 
new subsection:
    ``(f) A person may not be employed in a position under 
subsection (b) (other than under paragraph (4) of that 
subsection) if--
            ``(1) the person is or has been licensed, 
        registered, or certified (as applicable to such 
        position) in more than one State; and
            ``(2) either--
                    ``(A) any of those States has terminated 
                such license, registration, or certification 
                for cause; or
                    ``(B) the person has voluntarily 
                relinquished such license, registration, or 
                certification in any of those States after 
                being notified in writing by that State of 
                potential termination for cause.''.

SEC. 210. REPORT ON COORDINATION OF PROCUREMENT OF PHARMACEUTICALS AND 
                    MEDICAL SUPPLIES BY THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                    AFFAIRS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.

    (a) Requirement.--Not later than July 31, 2000, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense 
shall jointly submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs and 
Armed Services of the Senate and the Committees on Veterans' 
Affairs and Armed Services of the House of Representatives a 
report on the cooperation between the Department of Veterans 
Affairs and the Department of Defense in the procurement of 
pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
    (b) Report Elements.--The report under subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
            (1) A description of the current cooperation 
        between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the 
        Department of Defense in the procurement of 
        pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
            (2) An assessment of the means by which cooperation 
        between the departments in such procurement could be 
        enhanced or improved.
            (3) A description of any existing memoranda of 
        agreement between the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        and the Department of Defense that provide for the 
        cooperation referred to in subsection (a).
            (4) A description of the effects, if any, such 
        agreements will have on current staffing levels at the 
        Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 
        and the Department of Veterans Affairs National 
        Acquisition Center in Hines, Illinois.
            (5) A description of the effects, if any, of such 
        cooperation on military readiness.
            (6) A comprehensive assessment of cost savings 
        realized and projected over the five fiscal year period 
        beginning in fiscal year 1999 for the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense as a 
        result of such cooperation, and the overall savings to 
        the Treasury of the United States as a result of such 
        cooperation.
            (7) A list of the types of medical supplies and 
        pharmaceuticals for which cooperative agreements would 
        not be appropriate and the reason or reasons therefor.
            (8) An assessment of the extent to which 
        cooperative agreements could be expanded to include 
        medical equipment, major systems, and durable goods 
        used in the delivery of health care by the Department 
        of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.
            (9) A description of the effects such agreements 
        might have on distribution of items purchased 
        cooperatively by the Department of Veterans Affairs and 
        the Department of Defense, particularly outside the 
        continental United States.
            (10) An assessment of the potential to establish 
        common pharmaceutical formularies between the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of 
        Defense.
            (11) An explanation of the current Uniform Product 
        Number (UPN) requirements of each Department and of any 
        planned standardization of such requirements between 
        the Departments for medical equipment and durable goods 
        manufacturers.

SEC. 211. REIMBURSEMENT OF MEDICAL EXPENSES OF VETERANS LOCATED IN 
                    ALASKA.

    (a) Preservation of Current Reimbursement Rates.--
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, theSecretary shall, 
for purposes of reimbursing veterans in Alaska for medical expenses 
under section 1728 of title 38, United States Code, during the one-year 
period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, use the fee-
for-service payment schedule in effect for such purposes on July 31, 
1999, rather than the Participating Physician Fee Schedule under the 
Medicare program.
    (b) Report.--(1) Not later than 180 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall jointly 
submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
the House of Representatives a report and recommendation on the 
use of the Participating Physician Fee Schedule under the 
Medicare program as a means of calculating reimbursement rates 
for medical expenses of veterans located in Alaska under 
section 1728 of title 38, United States Code.
    (2) The report shall--
            (A) assess the differences between health care 
        costs in Alaska and health care costs in the 
        continental United States;
            (B) describe any differences between the costs of 
        providing health care in Alaska and the reimbursement 
        rates for the provision of health care under the 
        Participating Physician Fee Schedule; and
            (C) assess the effects on health care for veterans 
        in Alaska of implementing the Participating Physician 
        Fee Schedule as a means of calculating reimbursement 
        rates for medical expenses of veterans located in 
        Alaska under section 1728 of title 38, United States 
        Code.

              TITLE III--MISCELLANEOUS MEDICAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 301. REVIEW OF PROPOSED CHANGES TO OPERATION OF MEDICAL 
                    FACILITIES.

    Section 8110 is amended by adding at the end the following 
new subsections:
    ``(d) The Secretary may not in any fiscal year close more 
than 50 percent of the beds within a bed section (of 20 or more 
beds) of a Department medical center unless the Secretary first 
submits to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
and the House of Representatives a report providing a 
justification for the closure. No action to carry out such 
closure may be taken after the submission of such report until 
the end of the 21-day period beginning on the date of the 
submission of the report.
    ``(e) The Secretary shall submit to the Committees on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives, not later than January 20 of each year, a 
report documenting by network for the preceding fiscal year the 
following:
            ``(1) The number of medical service and surgical 
        service beds, respectively, that were closed during 
        that fiscal year and, for each such closure, a 
        description of the changes in delivery of services that 
        allowed such closure to occur.
            ``(2) The number of nursing home beds that were the 
        subject of a mission change during that fiscal year and 
        the nature of each such mission change.
    ``(f) For purposes of this section:
            ``(1) The term `closure', with respect to beds in a 
        medical center, means ceasing to provide staffing for, 
        and to operate, those beds. Such term includes 
        converting the provision of such bed care from care in 
        a Department facility to care under contract 
        arrangements.
            ``(2) The term `bed section', with respect to a 
        medical center, means psychiatric beds (including beds 
        for treatment of substance abuse and post-traumatic 
        stress disorder), intermediate, neurology, and 
        rehabilitation medicine beds, extended care (other than 
        nursing home) beds, and domiciliary beds.
            ``(3) The term `justification', with respect to 
        closure of beds, means a written report that includes 
        the following:
                    ``(A) An explanation of the reasons for the 
                determination that the closure is appropriate 
                and advisable.
                    ``(B) A description of the changes in the 
                functions to be carried out and the means by 
                which such care and services would continue to 
                be provided to eligible veterans.
                    ``(C) A description of the anticipated 
                effects of the closure on veterans and on their 
                access to care.''.

SEC. 302. PATIENT SERVICES AT DEPARTMENT FACILITIES.

    Section 7803 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by striking ``(a)'' before ``The 
                canteens''; and
                    (B) by striking ``in this subsection;'' and 
                all that follows through ``the premises'' and 
                inserting ``in this section''; and
            (2) by striking subsection (b).

SEC. 303. CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT.

    (a) Establishment of Program.--Not later than 120 days 
after the date of the enactment of this Act, theUnder Secretary 
for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs, after consultation 
with chiropractors, shall establish a policy for the Veterans Health 
Administration regarding the role of chiropractic treatment in the care 
of veterans under chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code.
    (b) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
            (1) The term ``chiropractic treatment'' means the 
        manual manipulation of the spine performed by a 
        chiropractor for the treatment of such musculo-skeletal 
        conditions as the Secretary considers appropriate.
            (2) The term ``chiropractor'' means an individual 
        who--
                    (A) is licensed to practice chiropractic in 
                the State in which the individual performs 
                chiropractic services; and
                    (B) holds the degree of doctor of 
                chiropractic from a chiropractic college 
                accredited by the Council on Chiropractic 
                Education.

SEC. 304. DESIGNATION OF HOSPITAL BED REPLACEMENT BUILDING AT IOANNIS 
                    A. LOUGARIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL 
                    CENTER, RENO, NEVADA.

    The hospital bed replacement building under construction at 
the Ioannis A. Lougaris Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
Center in Reno, Nevada, is hereby designated as the ``Jack 
Streeter Building''. Any reference to that building in any law, 
regulation, map, document, record, or other paper of the United 
States shall be considered to be a reference to the Jack 
Streeter Building.

             TITLE IV--CONSTRUCTION AND FACILITIES MATTERS

SEC. 401. AUTHORIZATION OF MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the 
following major medical facility projects, with each project to 
be carried out in the amount specified for that project:
            (1) Construction of a long term care facility at 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 
        Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in an amount not to exceed 
        $14,500,000.
            (2) Renovations and environmental improvements at 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 
        Fargo, North Dakota, in an amount not to exceed 
        $12,000,000.
            (3) Construction of a surgical suite and post-
        anesthesia care unit at the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri, in an 
        amount not to exceed $13,000,000.
            (4) Renovations and environmental improvements at 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 
        Atlanta, Georgia, in an amount not to exceed 
        $12,400,000.
            (5) Demolition of buildings at the Dwight D. 
        Eisenhower Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
        Center, Leavenworth, Kansas, in an amount not to exceed 
        $5,600,000.
            (6) Renovation to provide a domiciliary at Orlando, 
        Florida, in a total amount not to exceed $2,400,000, to 
        be derived only from funds appropriated for 
        Construction, Major Projects, for a fiscal year before 
        fiscal year 2000 that remain available for obligation.

SEC. 402. AUTHORIZATION OF MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY LEASES.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may enter into leases for 
medical facilities as follows:
            (1) Lease of an outpatient clinic, Lubbock, Texas, 
        in an amount not to exceed $1,112,000.
            (2) Lease of a research building, San Diego, 
        California, in an amount not to exceed $1,066,500.

SEC. 403. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2000 and for 
fiscal year 2001--
            (1) for the Construction, Major Projects, account 
        $57,500,000 for the projects authorized in paragraphs 
        (1) through (5) of section 401; and
            (2) for the Medical Care account, $2,178,500 for 
        the leases authorized in section 402.
    (b) Limitation.--The projects authorized in paragraphs (1) 
through (5) of section 401 may only be carried out using--
            (1) funds appropriated for fiscal year 2000 or 
        fiscal year 2001 pursuant to the authorization of 
        appropriations in subsection (a);
            (2) funds appropriated for Construction, Major 
        Projects, for a fiscal year before fiscal year 2000 
        that remain available for obligation; and
            (3) funds appropriated for Construction, Major 
        Projects, for fiscal year 2000 for a category of 
        activity not specific to a project.

                TITLE V--BENEFITS AND EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

                    Subtitle A--Compensation and DIC

SEC. 501. DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES 
                    OF FORMER PRISONERS OF WAR.

    (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``John 
William Rolen Act''.
    (b) Eligibility.--Section 1318(b) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``that either--'' in the matter 
        preceding paragraph (1) and inserting ``rated totally 
        disabling if--'';
            (2) in paragraph (1)--
                    (A) by inserting ``the disability'' after 
                ``(1)''; and
                    (B) by striking ``or'' after ``death;'';
            (3) in paragraph (2)--
                    (A) by striking ``if so rated for a lesser 
                period, was so rated continuously'' and 
                inserting ``the disability was continuously 
                rated totally disabling''; and
                    (B) by striking the period at the end and 
                inserting ``; or''; and
            (4) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(3) the veteran was a former prisoner of war who 
        died after September 30, 1999, and the disability was 
        continuously rated totally disabling for a period of 
        not later than one year immediately preceding death.''.

SEC. 502. REINSTATEMENT OF CERTAIN BENEFITS FOR REMARRIED SURVIVING 
                    SPOUSES OF VETERANS UPON TERMINATION OF THEIR 
                    REMARRIAGE.

    (a) Restoration of Prior Eligibility.--Section 103(d) is 
amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(d)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(2) The remarriage of the surviving spouse of a veteran 
shall not bar the furnishing of benefits specified in paragraph 
(5) to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran if 
the remarriage has been terminated by death or divorce unless 
the Secretary determines that the divorce was secured through 
fraud or collusion.
    ``(3) If the surviving spouse of a veteran ceases living 
with another person and holding himself or herself out openly 
to the public as that person's spouse, the bar to granting that 
person benefits as the surviving spouse of the veteran shall 
not apply in the case of the benefits specified in paragraph 
(5).
    ``(4) The first month of eligibility for benefits for a 
surviving spouse by reason of this subsection shall be the 
month after--
            ``(A) the month of the termination of such 
        remarriage, in the case of a surviving spouse described 
        in paragraph (2); or
            ``(B) the month of the cessation described in 
        paragraph (3), in the case of a surviving spouse 
        described in that paragraph.
    ``(5) Paragraphs (2) and (3) apply with respect to benefits 
under the following provisions of this title:
            ``(A) Section 1311, relating to dependency and 
        indemnity compensation.
            ``(B) Section 1713, relating to medical care for 
        survivors and dependents of certain veterans.
            ``(C) Chapter 35, relating to educational 
        assistance.
            ``(D) Chapter 37, relating to housing loans.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 1311 is amended by 
striking subsection (e).
    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsections (a) 
and (b) shall take effect on the first day of the first month 
beginning after the month in which this Act is enacted.
    (d) Limitation.--No payment may be made to a person by 
reason of paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 103(d) of title 38, 
United States Code, as added by subsection (a), for any period 
before the effective date specified in subsection (c).

SEC. 503. PRESUMPTION THAT BRONCHIOLO-ALVEOLAR CARCINOMA IS SERVICE-
                    CONNECTED.

    Section 1112(c)(2) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subparagraph:
            ``(P) Bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma.''.

                         Subtitle B--Employment

SEC. 511. CLARIFICATION OF VETERANS' CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYMENT 
                    OPPORTUNITIES.

    (a) Coordination of Amendments.--If the Federal Reserve 
Board Retirement Portability Act is enacted before this Act, 
the amendments made by subsection (b) shall be made and the 
amendments made by subsection (c) shall not be made. Otherwise, 
the amendments made by subsection (c) shall be made and the 
amendments made by subsection (b) and the amendments made by 
section 204 of the Federal Reserve Board Retirement Portability 
Act shall not be made.
    (b) Clarification of Civil Service Employment 
Opportunities.--Subject to subsection (a), section 3304(f) of 
title 5, United States Code, as amended by section 204 of the 
Federal Reserve Board Retirement Portability Act, is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (2), as added by such section, by 
        striking ``shall acquire competitive status and''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
    ``(5) The Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe 
regulations necessary for the administration of this 
subsection. The regulations shall ensure that an individual who 
has completed an initial tour of active duty is not excluded 
from the application of this subsection because of having been 
released from such tour of duty shortly before completing 3 
years of active service, having been honorably released from 
such duty.''.
    (c) Clarification of Civil Service Employment 
Opportunities.--Subject to subsection (a), section 3304(f) of 
title 5, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking paragraph (4);
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as 
        paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively;
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following 
        new paragraph (2):
    ``(2) If selected, a preference eligible or veteran 
described in paragraph (1) shall receive a career or career-
conditional appointment, as appropriate.''; and
            (4) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
    ``(5) The Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe 
regulations necessary for the administration of this 
subsection. The regulations shall ensure that an individual who 
has completed an initial tour of active duty is not excluded 
from the application of this subsection because of having been 
released from such tour of duty shortly before completing 3 
years of active service, having been honorably released from 
such duty.''.
    (d) Effective Date.--(1) If pursuant to subsection (a) the 
amendments specified in subsection (b) are made, those 
amendments shall apply as if included in section 204 of the 
Federal Reserve Board Retirement Portability Act.
    (2) If pursuant to subsection (a) the amendments specified 
in subsection (c) are made, those amendments shall take effect 
as of October 31, 1998, as if included in subsection (f) of 
section 3304 of title 5, United States Code, as enacted by 
section 2 of the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 
(Public Law 105-339; 112 Stat. 3182).

                   TITLE VI--MEMORIAL AFFAIRS MATTERS

            Subtitle A--American Battle Monuments Commission

SEC. 601. CODIFICATION AND EXPANSION OF AUTHORITY FOR WORLD WAR II 
                    MEMORIAL.

    (a) Codification of Existing Authority; Expansion of 
Authority.--(1) Chapter 21 of title 36, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 2113. World War II memorial in the District of Columbia

    ``(a) Solicitation and Acceptance of Contributions.--(1) 
Consistent with its authority under section 2103(e) of this 
title, the American Battle Monuments Commission shall solicit 
and accept contributions for the World War II memorial.
    ``(2) In this section, the term `World War II memorial' 
means the memorial authorized by Public Law 103-32 (40 U.S.C. 
1003 note) to be established by the Commission on Federal land 
in the District of Columbia or its environs to honor members of 
the Armed Forces who served in World War II and to commemorate 
the participation of the United States in that war.
    ``(b) Creation of Memorial Fund.--(1) There is hereby 
created in the Treasury a fund for the World War II memorial, 
which shall consist of the following:
            ``(A) Amounts deposited, and interest and proceeds 
        credited, under paragraph (2).
            ``(B) Obligations obtained under paragraph (3).
            ``(C) The amount of surcharges paid to the 
        Commission for the World War II memorial under the 
        World War II 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins Act 
        (31 U.S.C. 5112 note).
            ``(D) Amounts borrowed using the authority provided 
        under subsection (d).
            ``(E) Any funds received by the Commission under 
        section 2114 of this title in exchange for use of, or 
        the right to use, any mark, copyright or patent.
    ``(2) The Chairman of the Commission shall deposit in the 
fund the amounts accepted as contributions under subsection 
(a). The Secretary of the Treasury shall credit to the fund the 
interest on, and the proceeds from sale or redemption of, 
obligations held in the fund.
    ``(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest any 
portion of the fund that, as determined by the Chairman, is not 
required to meet current expenses. Each investment shall be 
made in an interest-bearing obligation of the United States or 
an obligation guaranteed as to principal and interest by the 
United States that, as determined by the Chairman, has a 
maturity suitable for the fund.
    ``(c) Use of Fund.--The fund shall be available to the 
Commission--
            ``(1) for the expenses of establishing the World 
        War II memorial, including the maintenance and 
        preservation amount provided for in section 8(b) of the 
        Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. 1008(b));
            ``(2) for such other expenses, other than routine 
        maintenance, with respect to the World War II memorial 
        as the Commission considers warranted; and
            ``(3) to secure, obtain, register, enforce, 
        protect, and license any mark, copyright, or patent 
        that is owned by, assigned to, or licensed to the 
        Commission under section 2114 of this title to aid or 
        facilitate the construction of the World War II 
        memorial.
    ``(d) Special Borrowing Authority.--(1) To assure that 
groundbreaking, construction, and dedication of the World War 
II memorial are carried out on a timely basis, the Commission 
may borrow money from the Treasury of the United States in such 
amounts as the Commission considers necessary, but not to 
exceed a total of $65,000,000. Borrowed amounts shall bear 
interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, 
takinginto consideration the average market yield on 
outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable 
maturities during the month preceding the month in which the 
obligations of the Commission are issued. The interest payments on such 
obligations may be deferred with the approval of the Secretary, but any 
interest payment so deferred shall also bear interest.
    ``(2) The borrowing of money by the Commission under 
paragraph (1) shall be subject to such maturities, terms, and 
conditions as may be agreed upon by the Commission and the 
Secretary, except that the maturities may not exceed 20 years 
and such borrowings may be redeemable at the option of the 
Commission before maturity.
    ``(3) The obligations of the Commission shall be issued in 
amounts and at prices approved by the Secretary. The authority 
of the Commission to issue obligations under this subsection 
shall remain available without fiscal year limitation. The 
Secretary of the Treasury shall purchase any obligations of the 
Commission to be issued under this subsection, and for such 
purpose the Secretary of the Treasury may use as a public debt 
transaction of the United States the proceeds from the sale of 
any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31. The 
purposes for which securities may be issued under such chapter 
are extended to include any purchase of the Commission's 
obligations under this subsection.
    ``(4) Repayment of the interest and principal on any funds 
borrowed by the Commission under paragraph (1) shall be made 
from amounts in the fund. The Commission may not use for such 
purpose any funds appropriated for any other activities of the 
Commission.
    ``(e) Treatment of Borrowing Authority.--In determining 
whether the Commission has sufficient funds to complete 
construction of the World War II memorial, as required by 
section 8 of the Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. 1008), the 
Secretary of the Interior shall consider the funds that the 
Commission may borrow from the Treasury under subsection (d) as 
funds available to complete construction of the memorial, 
whether or not the Commission has actually exercised the 
authority to borrow such funds.
    ``(f) Voluntary Services.--(1) Notwithstanding section 1342 
of title 31, the Commission may accept from any person 
voluntary services to be provided in furtherance of the fund-
raising activities of the Commission relating to the World War 
II memorial.
    ``(2) A person providing voluntary services under this 
subsection shall be considered to be a Federal employee for 
purposes of chapter 81 of title 5, relating to compensation for 
work-related injuries, and chapter 171 of title 28, relating to 
tort claims. A volunteer who is not otherwise employed by the 
United States shall not be considered to be a Federal employee 
for any other purpose by reason of the provision of such 
voluntary service, except that any volunteer given 
responsibility for the handling of funds or the carrying out of 
a Federal function is subject to the conflict of interest laws 
contained in chapter 11 of title 18 and the administrative 
standards of conduct contained in part 2635 of title 5 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations.
    ``(3) The Commission may provide for reimbursement of 
incidental expenses that are incurred by a person providing 
voluntary services under this subsection. The Commission shall 
determine those expenses that are eligible for reimbursement 
under this paragraph.
    ``(4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to 
require any Federal employee to work without compensation or to 
allow the use of volunteer services to displace or replace any 
Federal employee.
    ``(g) Treatment of Certain Contracts.--A contract entered 
into by the Commission for the design or construction of the 
World War II memorial is not a funding agreement as that term 
is defined in section 201 of title 35.
    ``(h) Extension of Authority To Establish Memorial.--
Notwithstanding section 10 of the Commemorative Works Act (40 
U.S.C. 1010), the authority for the construction of the World 
War II memorial provided by Public Law 103-32 (40 U.S.C. 1003 
note) expires on December 31, 2005.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 
is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``2113. World War II memorial in the District of Columbia.''.

    (b) Conforming Amendments.--Public Law 103-32 (40 U.S.C. 
1003 note) is amended by striking sections 3, 4, and 5.
    (c) Effect of Repeal of Current Memorial Fund.--Upon the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall 
transfer amounts in the fund created by section 4(a) of Public 
Law 103-32 (40 U.S.C. 1003 note) to the fund created by section 
2113(b) of title 36, United States Code, as added by subsection 
(a).

SEC. 602. GENERAL AUTHORITY TO SOLICIT AND RECEIVE CONTRIBUTIONS.

    Subsection (e) of section 2103 of title 36, United States 
Code, is amended to read as follows:
    ``(e) Solicitation and Receipt of Contributions.--(1) The 
Commission may solicit and receive funds and in-kind donations 
and gifts from any State, municipal, or private source to carry 
out the purposes of this chapter. The Commission shall deposit 
such funds in a separate account in the Treasury. Funds from 
that account shall be disbursed upon vouchers approved by the 
Chairman of the Commission.
    ``(2) The Commission shall establish written guidelines 
setting forth the criteria to be used in determining whether 
the acceptance of funds and in-kind donations and gifts under 
paragraph (1) would--
            ``(A) reflect unfavorably on the ability of the 
        Commission, or any member or employee of the 
        Commission, to carry out the responsibilities or 
        official duties of the Commission in a fair and 
        objective manner; or
            ``(B) compromise the integrity or the appearance of 
        the integrity of the programs of the Commission or any 
        official involved in those programs.''.

SEC. 603. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND RELATED ITEMS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 21 of title 36, United States 
Code, as amended by section 601(a)(1), is further amended by 
adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 2114. Intellectual property and related items

    ``(a) Authority To Use and Register Intellectual 
Property.--The American Battle Monuments Commission may--
            ``(1) adopt, use, register, and license trademarks, 
        service marks, and other marks;
            ``(2) obtain, use, register, and license the use of 
        copyrights consistent with section 105 of title 17;
            ``(3) obtain, use, and license patents; and
            ``(4) accept gifts of marks, copyrights, patents, 
        and licenses for use by the Commission.
    ``(b) Authority To Grant Licenses.--The Commission may 
grant exclusive and nonexclusive licenses in connection with 
any mark, copyright, patent, or license for the use of such 
mark, copyright or patent, except to the extent the grant of 
such license by the Commission would be contrary to any 
contract or license by which the use of the mark, copyright, or 
patent was obtained.
    ``(c) Enforcement Authority.--The Commission may enforce 
any mark, copyright, or patent by an action in the district 
courts under any law providing for the protection of such 
marks, copyrights, or patents.
    ``(d) Legal Representation.--The Attorney General shall 
furnish the Commission with such legal representation as the 
Commission may require under subsection (c). The Secretary of 
Defense shall provide representation for the Commission in 
administrative proceedings before the Patent and Trademark 
Office and Copyright Office.
    ``(e) Irrevocability of Transfers of Copyrights to 
Commission.--Section 203 of title 17 shall not apply to any 
copyright transferred in any manner to the Commission.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
beginning of such chapter, as amended by section 601(a)(2), is 
further amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``2114. Intellectual property and related items.''.

SEC. 604. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.

    Chapter 21 of title 36, United States Code, is amended as 
follows:
            (1) Section 2101(b) is amended--
                    (A) by striking ``title 37, United States 
                Code,'' in paragraph (2) and inserting ``title 
                37''; and
                    (B) by striking ``title 5, United States 
                Code,'' in paragraph (3) and inserting ``title 
                5''.
            (2) Section 2102(a)(1) is amended, by striking 
        ``title 5, United States Code'' and inserting ``title 
        5''.
            (3) Section 2103 is amended--
                    (A) by striking ``title 31, United States 
                Code'' in subsection (h)(2)(A)(i) and inserting 
                ``title 31'';
                    (B) by striking ``title 44, United States 
                Code'' in subsection (i) and inserting ``title 
                44''; and
                    (C) by striking ``chairman'' each place it 
                appears and inserting ``Chairman''.

                    Subtitle B--National Cemeteries

SEC. 611. ESTABLISHMENT OF ADDITIONAL NATIONAL CEMETERIES.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish, in 
accordance with chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code, a 
national cemetery in each of the six areas in the United States 
that the Secretary determines to be most in need of such a 
cemetery to serve the needs of veterans and their families.
    (b) Obligation of Funds in Fiscal Year 2000.--The Secretary 
shall obligate, from the advance planning fund in the 
Construction, Major Projects account appropriated to the 
Department for fiscal year 2000, such amounts for costs that 
the Secretary estimates are required for the planning and 
commencement of the establishment of national cemeteries under 
this section.
    (c) Reports.--(1) Not later than 120 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to 
Congress a report on the establishment of the national 
cemeteries under subsection (a). The report shall set forth the 
following:
            (A) The six areas of the United States determined 
        by the Secretary to be most in need of the 
        establishment of a new national cemetery.
            (B) A schedule for such establishment.
            (C) An estimate of the costs associated with such 
        establishment.
            (D) The amount obligated from the advance planning 
        fund under subsection (b).
    (2) Not later than one year after the date on which the 
report described in paragraph (1) is submitted, and annually 
thereafter until the establishment of the national cemeteries 
under subsection (a) is complete, the Secretary shall submit to 
Congress a report that updates the information included in the 
report described in paragraph (1).

SEC. 612. USE OF FLAT GRAVE MARKERS AT SANTA FE NATIONAL CEMETERY, NEW 
                    MEXICO.

    Notwithstanding section 2404(c)(2) of title 38, United 
States Code, the Secretary may provide for flat grave markers 
at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, New Mexico.

SEC. 613. INDEPENDENT STUDY ON IMPROVEMENTS TO VETERANS' CEMETERIES.

    (a) Study.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into a 
contract with one or more qualified organizations to conduct a 
study of national cemeteries described in subsection (b). For 
purposes of this section, an entity of Federal, State, or local 
government is not a qualified organization.
    (b) Matters Studied.--(1) The study conducted pursuant to 
the contract entered into under subsection (a) shall include an 
assessment of each of the following:
            (A) The one-time repairs required at each national 
        cemetery under the jurisdiction of the National 
        Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs to ensure a dignified and respectful setting 
        appropriate to such cemetery, taking into account the 
        variety of age, climate, and burial options at 
        individual national cemeteries.
            (B) The feasibility of making standards of 
        appearance of active national cemeteries, and the 
        feasibility of making standards of appearance of closed 
        national cemeteries, commensurate with standards of 
        appearance of the finest cemeteries in the world.
            (C) The number of additional national cemeteries 
        that will be required for the interment and 
        memorialization in such cemeteries of individuals 
        qualified under chapter 24 of title 38, United States 
        Code, who die after 2005.
            (D) The advantages and disadvantages of the use by 
        the National Cemetery Administration of flat grave 
        markers and upright grave markers.
            (E) The current condition of flat grave marker 
        sections at each of the national cemeteries.
    (2) In presenting the assessment of additional national 
cemeteries required under paragraph (1)(C), the report shall 
identify by five-year period, beginning with 2005 and ending 
with 2020, the following:
            (A) The number of additional national cemeteries 
        required during each such five-year period.
            (B) With respect to each such five-year period, the 
        areas in the United States with the greatest 
        concentration of veterans whose needs are not served by 
        national cemeteries or State veterans' cemeteries.
    (c) Report.--(1) Not later than one year after the date on 
which a qualified organization enters into a contract under 
subsection (a), the organization shall submit to the Secretary 
a report setting forth the results of the study conducted and 
conclusions of the organization with respect to such results.
    (2) Not later than 120 days after the date on which a 
report is submitted under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall 
transmit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
Representatives and the Senate a copy of the report, together 
with any comments on the report that the Secretary considers 
appropriate.

                      Subtitle C--Burial Benefits

SEC. 621. INDEPENDENT STUDY ON IMPROVEMENTS TO VETERANS' BURIAL 
                    BENEFITS.

    (a) Study.--Not later than 60 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into a 
contract with one or more qualified organizations to conduct a 
study of burial benefits under chapter 23 of title 38, United 
States Code. For purposes of this section, an entity of 
Federal, State, or local government is not a qualified 
organization.
    (b) Matters Studied.--The study conducted pursuant to the 
contract entered into under subsection (a) shall include 
consideration of the following:
            (1) An assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness 
        of the burial benefits administered by the Secretary 
        under chapter 23 of title 38, United States Code, in 
        meeting the burial needs of veterans and their 
        families.
            (2) Options to better serve the burial needs of 
        veterans and their families, including modifications to 
        burial benefit amounts and eligibility, together with 
        the estimated cost for each such modification.
            (3) Expansion of the authority of the Secretary to 
        provide burial benefits for burials in private-sector 
        cemeteries and to make grants to private-sector 
        cemeteries.
    (c) Report.--(1) Not later than 120 days after the date on 
which a qualified organization enters into a contract under 
subsection (a), the organization shall submit to the Secretary 
a report setting forth the results of the study conducted and 
conclusions of the organization with respect to those results.
    (2) Not later than 60 days after the date on which a report 
is submitted under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall transmit 
to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House 
of Representatives a copy of the report, together with any 
comments on the report that the Secretary considers 
appropriate.

                TITLE VII--EDUCATION AND HOUSING MATTERS

                     Subtitle A--Education Matters

SEC. 701. AVAILABILITY OF MONTGOMERY GI BILL BENEFITS FOR PREPARATORY 
                    COURSES FOR COLLEGE AND GRADUATE SCHOOL ENTRANCE 
                    EXAMS.

    Section 3002(3) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``, and'' at the end of 
        subparagraph (A) and inserting a semicolon;
            (2) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as 
        subparagraph (C); and
            (3) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the 
        following new subparagraph (B):
            ``(B) includes--
                    ``(i) a preparatory course for a test that 
                is required or used for admission to an 
                institution of higher education; and
                    ``(ii) a preparatory course for a test that 
                is required or used for admission to a graduate 
                school; and''.

SEC. 702. DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY PERIOD FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED 
                    FORCES COMMISSIONED FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF OFFICER 
                    TRAINING SCHOOL.

    (a) Measurement of Period Counted for GI Bill 
Eligibility.--Section 3011(f) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``paragraph (2)'' 
        and inserting ``paragraph (2) or (3); and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
    ``(3) This subsection applies to a member who after a 
period of continuous active duty as an enlisted member or 
warrant officer, and following successful completion of officer 
training school, is discharged in order to accept, without a 
break in service, a commission as an officer in the Armed 
Forces for a period of active duty.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments for Time Limitation for Use of 
Eligibility and Entitlement.--Section 3031 is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection 
        (h);
            (2) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by striking ``through (e)'' and 
                inserting ``through (g)''; and
                    (B) by striking ``subsection (g)'' and 
                inserting ``subsection (h)''; and
            (3) by inserting after subsection (f) the following 
        new subsection:
    ``(g) In the case of an individual described in section 
3011(f)(3) of this title, the period during which that 
individual may use the individual's entitlement to educational 
assistance allowance expires on the last day of the 10-year 
period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Veterans 
Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act if that date is later 
than the date that would otherwise be applicable to that 
individual under this section.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) 
shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and 
apply with respect to an individual first appointed as a 
commissioned officer on or after July 1, 1985.

SEC. 703. REPORT ON VETERANS' EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING 
                    BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE STATES.

    (a) Report.--(1) Not later than six months after the date 
of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives a report on veterans education and vocational 
training benefits provided by the States.
    (2) Benefits to be considered to be veterans education and 
vocational training benefits for the purpose of this section 
include any education or vocational training benefit provided 
by a State (including any political subdivision of a State) for 
which persons are eligible by reason of service in the Armed 
Forces, including, in the case of persons who died in the Armed 
Forces or as a result of a disease or disability incurred in 
the Armed Forces, benefits provided by reason of the service of 
those persons to their survivors or dependents.
    (3) For purposes of this section, the term ``veteran'' 
includes a person serving on active duty or in one of the 
reserve components and a person who died while in the active 
military, naval, or air service.
    (b) Matters To Be Included.--The report under this section 
shall include the following:
            (1) A description, by State, of the veterans 
        education and vocational training benefits provided, 
        including--
                    (A) identification of benefits that are 
                provided specifically for disabled veterans or 
                for which disabled veterans receive benefits in 
                a different amount; and
                    (B) identification of benefits for which 
                survivors of persons who died in the Armed 
                Forces(or as a result of a disease or 
disability incurred in the Armed Forces) or who were disabled in the 
Armed Forces are eligible.
            (2) For each State that provides a veterans 
        education benefit consisting of full or partial tuition 
        assistance for post-secondary education, a description 
        of that benefit, including whether the benefit is 
        limited to tuition for attendance at an institution of 
        higher education in that State or to tuition for 
        attendance at a public institution of higher education 
        in that State.
            (3) A description of actions and programs of the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of 
        Defense, the Department of Education, and the 
        Department of Labor to encourage the States to provide 
        benefits designed to assist veterans in securing post-
        secondary education and vocational training.
    (c) Consultation.--The report under this section shall be 
prepared in consultation with the Secretary of Education, the 
Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Labor.
    (d) State Defined.--For purposes of this section, the term 
``State'' has the meaning given that term in section 101(20) of 
title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 704. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.

    Sections 3011(i) and 3012(g)(1) are amended by striking 
``Federal''.

                      Subtitle B--Housing Matters

SEC. 711. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY FOR HOUSING LOANS FOR MEMBERS OF THE 
                    SELECTED RESERVE.

    Section 3702(a)(2)(E) is amended by striking ``September 
30, 2003,'' and inserting `September 30, 2007,''.

SEC. 712. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT RELATING TO TRANSITIONAL HOUSING LOAN 
                    GUARANTEE PROGRAM.

    Section 3775 is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(a)'' before ``During each''; 
        and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new 
        subsection:
    ``(b) After the first three years of operation of such a 
multifamily transitional housing project, the Secretary may 
provide for periodic audits of the project.''.

   TITLE VIII--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

SEC. 801. ENHANCED QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM WITHIN THE VETERANS 
                    BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) In General.--(1) Chapter 77 is amended by adding at the 
end the following new subchapter:

                  ``SUBCHAPTER III--QUALITY ASSURANCE

``Sec. 7731. Establishment

    ``(a) The Secretary shall carry out a quality assurance 
program in the Veterans Benefits Administration. The program 
may be carried out through a single quality assurance division 
in the Administration or through separate quality assurance 
entities for each of the principal organizational elements 
(known as `services') of the Administration.
    ``(b) The Secretary shall ensure that any quality assurance 
entity established and operated under subsection (a) is 
established and operated so as to meet generally applicable 
governmental standards for independence and internal controls 
for the performance of quality reviews of Government 
performance and results.

``Sec. 7732. Functions

    ``The Under Secretary for Benefits, acting through the 
quality assurance entities established under section 7731(a), 
shall on an ongoing basis perform and oversee quality reviews 
of the functions of each of the principal organizational 
elements of the Veterans Benefits Administration.

``Sec. 7733. Personnel

    ``The Secretary shall ensure that the number of full-time 
employees of the Veterans Benefits Administration assigned to 
quality assurance functions under this subchapter is adequate 
to perform the quality assurance functions for which they have 
responsibility.

``Sec. 7734. Annual report to Congress

    ``The Secretary shall include in the annual report to the 
Congress required by section 529 of this title a report on the 
quality assurance activities carried out under this subchapter. 
Each such report shall include--
            ``(1) an appraisal of the quality of services 
        provided by the Veterans Benefits Administration, 
        including--
                    ``(A) the number of decisions reviewed;
                    ``(B) a summary of the findings on the 
                decisions reviewed;
                    ``(C) the number of full-time equivalent 
                employees assigned to quality assurance in each 
                division or entity;
                    ``(D) specific documentation of compliance 
                with the standards for independence and 
                internal control required by section 7731(b) of 
                this title; and
                    ``(E) actions taken to improve the quality 
                of services provided and the results obtained;
            ``(2) information with respect to the accuracy of 
        decisions, including trends in that information; and
            ``(3) such other information as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 
is amended by adding at the end the following new items:

                   ``SUBCHAPTER III--QUALITY ASSURANCE

``7731. Establishment.
``7732. Functions.
``7733. Personnel.
``7734. Annual report to Congress.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--Subchapter III of chapter 77 of title 
38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall take 
effect at the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of 
the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 802. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY TO MAINTAIN A REGIONAL OFFICE IN THE 
                    REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.

    Section 315(b) is amended by striking ``December 31, 1999'' 
and inserting ``December 31, 2003''.

SEC. 803. EXTENSION OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON MINORITY VETERANS.

    Section 544(e) is amended by striking ``December 31, 1999'' 
and inserting ``December 31, 2003''.

SEC. 804. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT TO AUTOMOBILE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    Section 3903(e)(2) is amended by striking ``(not owned by 
the Government)''.

                  TITLE IX--HOMELESS VETERANS PROGRAMS

SEC. 901. HOMELESS VETERANS' REINTEGRATION PROGRAMS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 41 is amended by adding at the end 
the following new section:

``Sec. 4111. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary, acting through the 
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
Training, shall conduct, directly or through grant or contract, 
such programs as the Secretary determines appropriate to 
expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor 
force.
    ``(b) Authority To Monitor Expenditure of Funds.--The 
Secretary may collect such information as the Secretary 
considers appropriate to monitor and evaluate the distribution 
and expenditure of funds appropriated to carry out this 
section, and such information shall be furnished to the 
Secretary in such form as the Secretary determines appropriate.
    ``(c) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term 
`homeless veteran' has the meaning given that term by section 
3771(2) of this title.
    ``(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section amounts 
as follows:
            ``(A) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2000.
            ``(B) $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2001.
            ``(C) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
            ``(D) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
    ``(2) Funds obligated for any fiscal year to carry out this 
section may be expended in that fiscal year and the succeeding 
fiscal year.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the 
following new item:

``4111. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs.''.

SEC. 902. EXTENSION OF PROGRAM OF HOUSING ASSISTANCE FOR HOMELESS 
                    VETERANS.

    Section 3735(c) is amended by striking ``December 31, 
1999'' and inserting ``December 31, 2003''.

SEC. 903. HOMELESS VETERANS PROGRAMS.

    The Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Service Programs Act of 
1992 (38 U.S.C. 7721 note) is amended as follows:
            (1) Section 3(a)(1) is amended by inserting ``, and 
        expanding existing programs for furnishing,'' after 
        ``new programs to furnish''.
            (2) Section 3(a)(2) is amended by striking 
        ``September 30, 1999'' and inserting ``September 30, 
        2003''.
            (3) Section 3(b)(2) is amended by striking ``and no 
        more than 20 programs which incorporate the procurement 
        of vans as described in paragraph (1)''.
            (4) Section 12 is amended in the first sentence by 
        inserting ``and $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
        2000 and 2001'' after ``for fiscal years 1993 through 
        1997''.

SEC. 904. PLAN FOR EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE OF PROGRAMS TO ASSIST 
                    HOMELESS VETERANS.

    (a) Report.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives a report containing a detailed plan for the 
evaluation by the Department of Veterans Affairs of the 
effectiveness of programs to assist homeless veterans. The plan 
shall be prepared in consultation with the Secretary of Housing 
and Urban Development and the Secretary of Labor.
    (b) Inclusion of Outcome Measures.--The plan shall include 
outcome measures to show whether veterans for whom housing or 
employment is secured through one or more of those programs 
continue to be housed or employed, as the case may be, after 
six months.

      TITLE X--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

SEC. 1001. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims Amendments of 1999''.

SEC. 1002. DEFINITION.

    In this title, the term ``Court'' means the United States 
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

     Subtitle A--Transitional Provisions To Stagger Terms of Judges

SEC. 1011. EARLY RETIREMENT AUTHORITY FOR CURRENT JUDGES.

    (a) Retirement Authorized.--One eligible judge may retire 
in accordance with this section in 2000 or 2001, and one 
additional eligible judge may retire in accordance with this 
section in 2001.
    (b) Eligible Judges.--For purposes of this section, an 
eligible judge is a judge of the Court (other than the chief 
judge) who--
            (1) has at least 10 years of service creditable 
        under section 7296 of title 38, United States Code;
            (2) has made an election to receive retired pay 
        under section 7296 of such title;
            (3) has at least 20 years of service described in 
        section 7297(l) of such title; and
            (4) is at least 55 years of age.
    (c) Multiple Eligible Judges.--If for any year specified in 
subsection (a) more than one eligible judge provides notice in 
accordance with subsection (d), the judge who has the greatest 
seniority as a judge of the Court shall be the judge who is 
eligible to retire in accordance with this section in that 
year.
    (d) Notice.--An eligible judge who desires to retire in 
accordance with this section with respect to any year covered 
by subsection (a) shall provide to the President and the chief 
judge of the Court written notice to that effect and stating 
that the judge agrees to the temporary service requirements of 
subsection (j). Such notice shall be provided not later than 
April 1 of that year and shall specify the retirement date in 
accordance with subsection (e). Notice provided under this 
subsection shall be irrevocable.
    (e) Date of Retirement.--A judge who is eligible to retire 
in accordance with this section shall be retired during the 
calendar year as to which notice is provided pursuant to 
subsection (d), but not earlier than 30 days after the date on 
which that notice is provided pursuant to subsection (d).
    (f) Applicable Provisions.--Except as provided in 
subsections (g) and (j), a judge retired in accordance with 
this section shall be considered for all purposes to be retired 
under section 7296(b)(1) of title 38, United States Code.
    (g) Applicability of Recall Status Authority.--The 
provisions of section 7257 of this title shall apply to a judge 
retired in accordance with this section as if the judge is a 
judge specified in subsection (a)(2)(A) of that section.
    (h) Rate of Retired Pay.--The rate of retired pay for a 
judge retiring in accordance with this section is--
            (1) the rate applicable to that judge under section 
        7296(c)(1) of title 38, United States Code, multiplied 
        by
            (2) the fraction (not in excess of 1) in which--
                    (A) the numerator is the number of years of 
                service of the judge as a judge of the Court 
                creditable under section 7296 of such title; 
                and
                    (B) the denominator is 15.
    (i) Adjustments in Retired Pay for Judges Available for 
Recall.--Subject to section 7296(f)(3)(B) of title 38, United 
States Code, an adjustment provided by law in annuities payable 
under civil service retirement laws shall apply to retired pay 
under this section in the case of a judge who is a recall-
eligible retired judge under section 7257 of such 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.
    (j) Duty of Actuary.--Section 7298(e)(2) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subparagraph (C) as 
        subparagraph (D); and
            (2) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the 
        following new subparagraph:
    ``(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.''.
    (k) Transitional Service of Judge Retired Under This 
Section.--(1) A judge who retires under this section shall 
continue to serve on the Court during the period beginning on 
the effective date of the judge's retirement under subsection 
(e) and ending on the earlier of--
            (A) the date on which a person is appointed to the 
        position on the Court vacated by the judge's 
        retirement; and
            (B) the date on which the judge's original 
        appointment to the court would have expired.
    (2) Subsections (f) and (g) of section 7253 of title 38, 
United States Code, shall apply with respect to the service of 
a judge on the Court under this section.
    (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person 
whose service as a judge of the Court continuesunder this 
section shall be paid for the period of service under this subsection 
at the rate that is the difference between the current rate of pay for 
a judge of the Court and the rate of the judge's retired pay under 
subsection (g).
    (4) Amounts paid under paragraph (3)--
            (A) shall not be treated as--
                    (i) compensation for employment with the 
                United States for purposes of section 7296(e) 
                of title 38, United States Code, or any 
                provision of title 5, United States Code, 
                relating to the receipt or forfeiture of 
                retired pay or retirement annuities by a person 
                accepting compensation for employment with the 
                United States; or
                    (ii) pay for purposes of deductions or 
                contributions for or on behalf of the person to 
                retired pay under subchapter V of chapter 72 of 
                title 38, United States Code, or under chapter 
                83 or 84 of title 5, United States Code, as 
                applicable; but
            (B) may, at the election of the person, be treated 
        as pay for purposes of deductions or contributions for 
        or on behalf of the person to a retirement or other 
        annuity, or both, under subchapter V of chapter 72 of 
        title 38, United States Code, or under chapter 83 or 84 
        of title 5, United States Code, as applicable.
    (5) Amounts paid under paragraph (3) shall be derived from 
amounts available for payment of salaries and benefits of 
judges of the Court.
    (6) The service as a judge of the Court under this 
subsection of a person who makes an election provided for under 
paragraph (4)(B) shall constitute creditable service toward the 
judge's years of judicial service for purposes of section 7297 
of title 38, United States Code, with such service creditable 
at a rate equal to the rate at which such service would be 
creditable for such purposes if served by a judge of the Court 
under chapter 72 of that title. For purposes of subsection 
(k)(3) of that section, the average annual pay for such service 
shall be the sum of the judge's retired pay and the amount paid 
under paragraph (3) of this subsection.
    (7) In the case of such a person who makes an election 
provided for under paragraph (4)(B), upon the termination of 
the service of that person as a judge of the Court under this 
subsection, the retired pay of that person under subsection (g) 
shall be recomputed to reflect the additional period of service 
served under this subsection.
    (l) Treatment of Political Party Membership.--For purposes 
of determining compliance with the last sentence of section 
7253(b) of title 38, United States Code, the political party 
membership of a judge serving on the Court under subsection (j) 
shall not be taken into account.

SEC. 1012. MODIFIED TERMS FOR NEXT TWO JUDGES APPOINTED TO THE COURT.

    (a) Modified Terms.--The term of office of the first two 
judges appointed to the Court after the date of the enactment 
of this Act shall be 13 years (rather than the period specified 
in section 7253(c) of title 38, United States Code).
    (b) Eligibility for Retirement.--(1) For purposes of 
determining the eligibility to retire under section 7296 of 
title 38, United States Code, of the two judges of the Court 
whose term of office is determined under subsection (a)--
            (A) the age and service requirements in the table 
        in paragraph (2) shall apply to those judges rather 
        than the otherwise applicable age and service 
        requirements specified in the table in subsection 
        (b)(1) of that section; and
            (B) the minimum years of service applicable to 
        those judges for eligibility to retire under the first 
        sentence of subsection (b)(2) of that section shall be 
        13 years instead of 15 years.
    (2) The age and service requirements in this paragraph are 
as follows:

The judge has attainAnd the years of service as a judge are at least
    65..................................................          13    
    66..................................................          13    
    67..................................................          13    
    68..................................................          12    
    69..................................................          11    
    70..................................................          10    

          Subtitle B--Other Matters Relating to Retired Judges

SEC. 1021. RECALL OF RETIRED JUDGES.

    (a) Authority To Recall Retired Judges.--Chapter 72 is 
amended by inserting after section 7256 the following new 
section:

``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 
        Appeals for Veterans Claims 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 pursuant to section 7253(g) or 
7296(g) of this title.
    ``(c) A retired judge who is recalled under this section 
may exercise all of the judicial 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.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the 
item relating to section 7256 the following new item:

``7257. Recall of retired judges.''.

SEC. 1022. JUDGES' RETIRED PAY.

    (a) In General.--Subsection (c)(1) of section 7296 is 
amended by striking ``at the rate of pay in effect at the time 
of retirement.'' and inserting the following: ``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.
            ``(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.''.
    (b) Cost-of-Living Adjustments.--Subsection (f) of such 
section is amended by adding at the end the following new 
paragraph:
    ``(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) If such a cost-of-living adjustment would (but for 
this subparagraph) result in the retired pay of a retired judge 
being in excess of the annual rate of pay in effect for judges 
of the Court as provided in section 7253(e) 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).''.

SEC. 1023. SURVIVOR ANNUITIES.

    (a) Surviving Spouse.--Subsection (a)(5) of section 7297 is 
amended by striking ``two years'' and inserting ``one year''.
    (b) Election To Participate.--Subsection (b) of such 
section is amended in the first sentence by inserting before 
the period ``or within six months after the date on which the 
judge marries if the judge has retired under section 7296 of 
this title''.
    (c) Reduction in Contributions.--Subsection (c) of such 
section is amended by striking ``3.5 percent of the judge's 
pay'' and inserting ``that percentage of the judge's pay that 
is the same as provided for the deduction from the salary or 
retirement salary of a judge of the United States Court of 
Federal Claims for the purpose of a survivor annuity under 
section 376(b)(1)(B) of title 28''.
    (d) Interest Payments.--Subsection (d) of such section is 
amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(d)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
    ``(2) The interest required under the first sentence of 
paragraph (1) shall not be required for any period--
            ``(A) during which a judge was separated from any 
        service described in section 376(d)(2) of title 28; and
            ``(B) during which the judge was not receiving 
        retired pay based on service as a judge or receiving 
        any retirement salary as described in section 376(d)(1) 
        of title 28.''.
    (e) Service Eligibility.--(1) Subsection (f) of such 
section is amended--
            (A) in paragraph (1), in the matter preceding 
        subparagraph (A)--
                    (i) by striking ``at least 5 years'' and 
                inserting ``at least 18 months''; and
                    (ii) by striking ``last 5 years'' and 
                inserting ``last 18 months''; and
            (B) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
    ``(5) If a judge dies as a result of an assassination and 
leaves a survivor or survivors who are otherwise entitled to 
receive annuity payments under this section, the 18-month 
requirement in the matter in paragraph (1) preceding 
subparagraph (A) shall not apply.''.
    (2) Subsection (a) of such section is further amended--
            (A) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``who is in 
        active service or who has retired under section 7296 of 
        this title'' after ``Court'';
            (B) in paragraph (3), by striking ``7296(c)'' and 
        inserting ``7296''; and
            (C) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(8) The term `assassination' as applied to a 
        judge shall have the meaning provided that term in 
        section 376(a)(7) of title 28 as applied to a judicial 
        official.''.
    (f) Age Requirement of Surviving Spouse.--Subsection (f) of 
such section is further amended by striking ``or following the 
surviving spouse's attainment of the age of 50 years, whichever 
is the later'' in paragraph (1)(A).

SEC. 1024. LIMITATION ON ACTIVITIES OF RETIRED JUDGES.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 72 is amended by adding at the end 
the following new section:

``Sec. 7299. Limitation on activities of retired judges

    ``(a) A retired judge of the Court who is recall-eligible 
under section 7257 of this title and who 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 shall, pursuant 
to such section, be considered to have declined recall service 
and be removed from the status of a recall-eligible judge. The 
pay of such a judge, pursuant to section 7296 of this title, 
shall be the pay of the judge at the time of the removal from 
recall status.
    ``(b) A recall-eligible judge shall be considered to be an 
officer or employee of the United States, but only during 
periods when the judge is serving in recall status. Any 
prohibition, limitation, or restriction that would otherwise 
apply to the activities of a recall-eligible judge shall apply 
only during periods when the judge is serving in recall 
status.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the 
beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the 
following new item:

``7299. Limitation on activities of retired judges.''.

 Subtitle C--Rotation of Service of Judges as Chief Judge of the Court

SEC. 1031. REPEAL OF SEPARATE APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE.

    Subsection (a) of section 7253 is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(a) Composition.--The Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims is composed of at least three and not more than seven 
judges, one of whom shall serve as chief judge in accordance 
with subsection (d).''.

SEC. 1032. DESIGNATION AND TERM OF CHIEF JUDGE OF COURT.

    (a) Rotation.--Subsection (d) of section 7253 is amended to 
read as follows:
    ``(d) Chief Judge.--(1) The chief judge of the Court shall 
be the judge of the Court in regular active service who is 
senior in commission among the judges of the Court who--
            ``(A) have served for one or more years as judges 
        of the Court; and
            ``(B) have not previously served as chief judge.
    ``(2) In any case in which there is no judge of the Court 
in regular active service who has served as a judge of the 
Court for at least one year, the judge of the court in regular 
active service who is senior in commission and has not served 
previously as chief judge shall act as the chief judge.
    ``(3) Except as provided in paragraph (4), a judge of the 
Court shall serve as the chief judge under paragraph (1) for a 
term of five years or until the judge becomes age 70, whichever 
occurs first. If no other judge is eligible under paragraph (1) 
to serve as chief judge upon the expiration of that term, that 
judge shall continue to serve as chief judge until another 
judge becomes eligible under that paragraph to serve as chief 
judge.
    ``(4)(A) The term of a chief judge shall be terminated 
before the end of the term prescribed by paragraph (3) if--
            ``(i) the chief judge leaves regular active service 
        as a judge of the court; or
            ``(ii) the chief judge notifies the other judges of 
        the court in writing that such judge desires to be 
        relieved of the duties of chief judge.
    ``(B) The effective date of a termination of the term under 
subparagraph (A) shall be the date on which the chief judge 
leaves regular active service or the date of the notification 
under subparagraph (A)(ii), as the case may be.
    ``(5) If a chief judge is temporarily unable to perform the 
duties of chief judge, those duties shall be performed by the 
judge of the court in active service who is present, able and 
qualified to act, and is next in precedence.
    ``(6) Judges who have the same seniority in commission 
shall be eligible for service as chief judge in accordance with 
their relative precedence.''.
    (b) Ineligibility of Judges on Temporary Service.--A person 
serving as a judge of the Court under section 1011 may not 
serve as chief judge of the Court.

SEC. 1033. SALARY.

    Subsection (e) of section 7253 is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(e) Salary.--Each judge of the Court shall receive a 
salary at the same rate as is received by judges of the United 
States district courts.''.

SEC. 1034. PRECEDENCE OF JUDGES.

    Subsection (d) of section 7254 is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(d) Precedence of Judges.--The chief judge of the Court 
shall have precedence and preside at any session that the chief 
judge attends. The other judges shall have precedence and 
preside according to the seniority of their original 
commissions. Judges whose commissions bear the same date shall 
have precedence according to seniority in age.''.

SEC. 1035. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

    Chapter 72 is amended as follows:
            (1) Section 7281(g) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(g) The chief judge of the Court may exercise the 
authority of the Court under this section whenever there are 
not at least two other judges of the Court.''.
            (2) Sections 7296(a)(2) and 7297(a)(2) are amended 
        by striking ``the chief judge or an associate judge'' 
        and inserting ``a judge''.

SEC. 1036. APPLICABILITY OF AMENDMENTS.

    (a) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this subtitle 
shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (b) Savings Provision for Incumbent Chief Judge.--The 
amendments made by this subtitle shall not apply while the 
individual who is chief judge of the Court on the date of the 
enactment of this Act continues to serve as chief judge. If 
that individual, upon termination of service as chief judge, 
provides notice under section 7257 of title 38, United States 
Code, of availability for service in a recalled status, the 
rate of pay applicable to that individual under section 
7296(c)(1)(A) of such title while serving in a recalled status 
shall be at the rate of pay applicable to that individual at 
the time of retirement, if greater than the rate otherwise 
applicable under that section.

            TITLE XI--VOLUNTARY SEPARATION INCENTIVE PROGRAM

SEC. 1101. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Department of Veterans 
Affairs Employment Reduction Assistance Act of 1999''.

SEC. 1102. PLAN FOR PAYMENT OF VOLUNTARY SEPARATION INCENTIVE PAYMENTS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, 
before obligating any funds for the payment of voluntary 
separation incentive payments under this title, submit to the 
Director of the Office of Management and Budget an operational 
plan outlining the proposed use of such incentive payments and 
a proposed organizational chart for the elements of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs covered by the plan once the 
payment of such incentive payments has been completed.
    (b) Contents.--The plan under subsection (a) shall--
            (1) take into account the limitations on elements, 
        and personnel within elements, of the Department 
        specified in subsection (c);
            (2) specify the positions to be reduced or 
        eliminated and functions to be restructured or 
        reorganized, identified by element of the Department, 
        geographic location, occupational category, and grade 
        level;
            (3) specify the manner in which the plan will 
        improve operating efficiency, or meet actual or 
        anticipated levels of budget or staffing resources, of 
        each element covered by the plan and of the Department 
        generally; and
            (4) include a description of how each element of 
        the Department covered by the plan will operate without 
        the functions or positions affected by the 
        implementation of the plan.
    (c) Limitation on Elements and Personnel.--The plan under 
subsection (a) shall be limited to the elements of the 
Department, and the number of positions within such elements, 
as follows:
            (1) The Veterans Health Administration, 4,400 
        positions.
            (2) The Veterans Benefits Administration, 240 
        positions.
            (3) Department of Veterans Affairs Staff Offices, 
        45 positions.
            (4) The National Cemetery Administration, 15 
        positions.
    (d) Approval.--(1) The Director of the Office of Management 
and Budget shall approve or disapprove the plan submitted under 
subsection (a).
    (2) In approving the plan, the Director may make such 
modifications to the plan as the Director considers appropriate 
with respect to the following:
            (A) The number and amounts of voluntary incentive 
        payments that may be paid under the plan.
            (B) Any other matter that the Director considers 
        appropriate.
    (3) In the event of the disapproval of a plan by the 
Director under paragraph (1), the Secretary may modify and 
resubmit the plan to the Director. The provisions of this 
section shall apply to any plan submitted to the Director under 
this paragraph as if such plan were the initial plan submitted 
to the Director under subsection (a).

SEC. 1103. VOLUNTARY SEPARATION INCENTIVE PAYMENTS.

    (a) Authority To Pay Voluntary Separation Incentive 
Payments.--(1) The Secretary may pay a voluntary separation 
incentive payment to an eligible employee only--
            (A) to the extent necessary to reduce or 
        restructure the positions and functions identified by 
        the plan approved under section 1102; and
            (B) if the Under Secretary concerned, or the head 
        of the staff office concerned, approves the payment of 
        the voluntary separation incentive payment to that 
        employee.
    (2) In order to receive a voluntary separation incentive 
payment under this title, an employee must separate from 
service with the Department voluntarily (whether by retirement 
or resignation) under the provisions of this title.
    (b) Amount and Treatment of Payments.--A voluntary 
separation incentive payment--
            (1) shall be paid in a lump sum after the 
        employee's separation under this title;
            (2) shall be in an amount equal to the lesser of--
                    (A) an amount equal to the amount the 
                employee would be entitled to receive under 
                section 5595(c) of title 5, United States Code, 
                if the employee were entitled to payment under 
                that section (without adjustment for any 
                previous payment made under that section); or
                    (B) an amount determined by the Secretary, 
                not to exceed $25,000;
            (3) shall not be a basis for payment, and shall not 
        be included in the computation, of any other type of 
        Government benefit; and
            (4) shall not be taken into account in determining 
        the amount of severance pay to which an employee may be 
        entitled under section 5595 of title 5, United States 
        Code, based on any other separation.
    (c) Source of Funds.--Voluntary separation incentive 
payments under this title shall be paid from the appropriations 
or funds available for payment of the basic pay of the 
employees of the Department.

SEC. 1104. EFFECT OF SUBSEQUENT EMPLOYMENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT.

    (a) Repayment Upon Reemployment.--Except as provided in 
subsection (b), an individual who is paid a voluntary 
separation incentive payment under this title and who 
subsequently accepts employment with the Government within five 
years after the date of the separation on which the payment is 
based shall be required to repay to the Secretary, before the 
individual's first day of such employment, the entire amount of 
the voluntary separation incentive payment paid to the 
individual under this title.
    (b) Waiver Authority for Certain Individuals.--(1) If the 
employment of an individual under subsection (a) is with an 
Executive agency (as defined by section 105 of title 5, United 
States Code), the United States Postal Service, or the Postal 
Rate Commission, the Director of the Office of Personnel 
Management may, at the request of the head of such agency, 
waive repayment by the individual under that subsection if the 
individual possesses unique abilities and is the only qualified 
applicant available for the position.
    (2) If the employment of an individual under subsection (a) 
is with an entity in the legislative branch, the head of the 
entity or the appointing official may waive repayment by the 
individual under that subsection if the individual involved 
possesses unique abilities and is the only qualified applicant 
available for the position.
    (3) If the employment of an individual under subsection (a) 
is with the judicial branch, the Director of the Administrative 
Office of the United States Courts may waive repayment by the 
individual under that subsection if the individual involved 
possesses unique abilities and is the only qualified applicant 
available for the position.
    (c) Employment Defined.--for purposes of this section, the 
term ``employment'' includes--
            (1) for purposes of subsections (a) and (b), 
        employment of any length or under any type of 
        appointment, but does not include employment that is 
        without compensation; and
            (2) for purposes of subsection (a), employment with 
        any agency of the Government through a personal 
        services contract.

SEC. 1105. ADDITIONAL AGENCY CONTRIBUTIONS TO CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT 
                    AND DISABILITY FUND.

    (a) Requirement.--In addition to any other payments which 
it is required to make under subchapter III of chapter 83 or 
chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary shall 
remit to the Office of Personnel Management for deposit in the 
Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Civil 
Service Retirement and Disability Fund an amount equal to 26 
percent of the final basic pay of each employee of the 
Department who is covered under subchapter III of chapter 83 or 
chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, to whom a voluntary 
separation incentive is paid under this title.
    (b) Final Basic Pay Defined.--For purposes of this section, 
the term ``final basic pay'', with respect to an employee, 
means the total amount of basic pay that would be payable for a 
year of service by the employee, computed using the employee's 
final rate of basic pay, and, if last serving on other than a 
full-time basis, with appropriate adjustment therefor.

SEC. 1106. CONTINUED HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE.

    Section 8905a(d) of title 5, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1)(A), by striking ``paragraph 
        (4)'' and inserting ``paragraphs (4) and (5)'';
            (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``(1) or (4)'' 
        and inserting ``(1), (4), or (5)''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
    ``(5)(A) If the basis for continued coverage under this 
section is an involuntary separation from a position in orunder 
the Department of Veterans Affairs due to a reduction in force or a 
title 38 staffing readjustment--
            ``(i) the individual shall be liable for not more 
        than the employee contributions referred to in 
        paragraph (1)(A)(i); and
            ``(ii) the agency which last employed the 
        individual shall pay the remaining portion of the 
        amount required under paragraph (1)(A).
    ``(B) This paragraph shall only apply with respect to 
individuals whose continued coverage is based on a separation 
occurring on or after the date of the enactment of this 
paragraph.''.

SEC. 1107. PROHIBITION OF REDUCTION OF FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT EMPLOYMENT 
                    LEVEL.

    (a) Prohibition.--The total full-time equivalent employment 
in the Department may not be reduced by reason of the 
separation of an employee (or any combination of employees) 
receiving a voluntary separation incentive payment under this 
title.
    (b) Enforcement.--The President, through the Office of 
Management and Budget, shall monitor the Department and take 
any action necessary to ensure that the requirements of this 
section are met.

SEC. 1108. REGULATIONS.

    The Director of the Office of Personnel Management may 
prescribe any regulations necessary to administer this title.

SEC. 1109. LIMITATION; SAVINGS CLAUSE.

    (a) Limitation.--No voluntary separation incentive payment 
may be paid under this title based on the separation of an 
employee after December 31, 2000.
    (b) Relationship to Other Authority.--This title 
supplements and does not supersede any other authority of the 
Secretary to pay voluntary separation incentive payments to 
employees of the Department.

SEC. 1110. ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES.

    For purposes of this title:
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph 
        (2), the term ``eligible employee'' means an employee 
        (as defined by section 2105 of title 5, United States 
        Code) of the Department of Veterans Affairs, who is 
        serving under an appointment without time limitation 
        and has been employed by the Department as of the date 
        of separation under this title for a continuous period 
        of at least three years.
            (2) Exceptions.--Such term does not include the 
        following:
                    (A) A reemployed annuitant under subchapter 
                III of chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 5, 
                United States Code, or another retirement 
                system for employees of the Government.
                    (B) An employee having a disability on the 
                basis of which such employee is eligible for 
                disability retirement under subchapter III of 
                chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 5, United 
                States Code, or another retirement system for 
                employees of the Government.
                    (C) An employee who is in receipt of a 
                specific notice of involuntary separation for 
                misconduct or unacceptable performance.
                    (D) An employee who previously has received 
                any voluntary separation incentive payment by 
                the Government under this title or any other 
                authority.
                    (E) An employee covered by statutory 
                reemployment rights who is on transfer to 
                another organization.
                    (F) An employee who, during the 24-month 
                period preceding the date of separation, has 
                received a recruitment or relocation bonus 
                under section 5753 of title 5, United States 
                Code, or a recruitment bonus under section 7458 
                of title 38, United States Code.
                    (G) An employee who, during the 12-month 
                period preceding the date of separation, 
                received a retention allowance under section 
                5754 of title 5, United States Code, or a 
                retention bonus under section 458 of title 38, 
                United States Code.
                    (H) An employee who, during the 24-month 
                period preceding the date of separation, was 
                relocated at the expense of the Federal 
                Government.

      And the Senate agree to the same.
      That the House recede from its disagreement to the 
amendment of the Senate to the title of the bill and agree to 
the same with an amendment as follows:
      In lieu of the Senate amendment to the title of the bill, 
amend the title so as to read: ``An Act to amend title 38, 
United States Code, to establish a program of extended care 
services for veterans, to make other improvements in health 
care programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to enhance 
compensation, memorial affairs, and housing programs of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, to improve retirement 
authorities applicable to judges of the United States Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims, and for other purposes.''.
      And the Senate agree to the same.

                                   Bob Stump,
                                   Chris Smith,
                                   Jack Quinn,
                                   Cliff Stearns,
                                   Lane Evans,
                                   Corrine Brown,
                                   Mike Doyle,
                                 Managers on the Part of the House.

                                   Arlen Specter,
                                   Strom Thurmond,
                                   Jay Rockefeller,
                                Managers on the Part of the Senate.

       JOINT EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE

      The managers on the part of the House and the Senate at 
the conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on 
the amendments of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 2116) to amend 
title 38, United States Code, to establish a program of 
extended care services for veterans and to make other 
improvements in health care programs of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, submit the following joint statement to the 
House and the Senate in explanation of the effect of the action 
agreed upon by the managers and recommended in the accompanying 
conference report:
      The Senate amendment to the text of the bill struck all 
of the House bill after the enacting clause and inserted a 
substitute text.
      The House recedes from its disagreement to the amendment 
of the Senate with an amendment that is a substitute for the 
House bill and the Senate amendment. The differences between 
the House bill, the Senate amendment, and the substitute agreed 
to in conference are noted below, except for clerical 
corrections, conforming changes made necessary by agreements 
reached by the conferees, and minor drafting and clerical 
changes.

                                OVERVIEW

      The House bill, H.R. 2116, as amended, consists of 
provisions from the following House bills: H.R. 2280, which 
passed the House on June 29, 1999, and H.R. 2116, which passed 
the House on September 21, 1999.
      The Senate amendment consists of provisions from the 
following Senate bills: S. 1402, which passed the Senate on 
July 26, 1999; S. 695, which passed the Senate on August 4, 
1999; and S. 1076, which passed the Senate on September 8, 
1999.

                        TITLE I--ACCESS TO CARE

                       Subtitle A--Long-Term Care

                   extended care services (sec. 101)

Current law
      Section 8110 of title 38, United States Code, states that 
the Secretary ``shall operate and maintain a total of not less 
than 90,000 hospital beds and nursing home beds'' and ``shall 
maintain the bed and treatment capacities of all Department 
medical facilities so as to ensure the accessibility and 
availability of such beds and treatment capacities to eligible 
veterans in all States and to minimize delays in admissions and 
in the provision of hospital, nursing home, and domiciliary 
care.'' Section 1710 of title 38, United States Code, 
establishes that all veterans (as delineated in that section) 
are eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing 
home care. The Secretary (to the extent appropriations permit, 
and subject to an enrollment system required under section 
1706), ``shall'' furnish hospital care and medical services to 
such veterans. ``Medical services'', which are to be furnished 
to enrolled veterans, are defined to include ``such . . . 
services as the Secretary determines to be reasonable and 
necessary.'' Provisions of chapter 17 of title 38, United 
States Code, also specifically authorize VA to provide certain 
extended care services (VA and community-based nursing home 
care, domiciliary care, adult day health care, respite care, 
and noninstitutional alternatives to nursing home care), as 
needed, to eligible veterans.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 101(a)) would direct 
VA, subject to the availability of appropriations, to operate 
and maintain extended care programs, to include geriatric 
evaluations, VA and community-based nursing home care, 
domiciliary care, adult day health care, respite care, and such 
alternatives to institutional care as the Secretary considers 
reasonable and appropriate. The measure would also direct the 
Secretary to provide extended care services to any veteran in 
need of such care (1) for a service-connected condition, and 
(2) who is 50 percent or more service-connected disabled. Such 
veterans also would be afforded highest priority for placements 
(and ongoing care) in VA nursing homes. VA would be required to 
prescribe regulations governing priorities for provision of VA 
nursing home care; such regulations would ensure that priority 
is given for patient rehabilitation, for clinically complex 
patient populations, and for patients for whom there are not 
other suitable placement options. The section would also 
proscribe VA's furnishing extended care services (as defined) 
for care of a nonservice-connected condition, other than for a 
50 percent or more service-connected disabled veteran, unless 
the veteran agrees to pay a copayment for extended care 
services exceeding 21 days in any year. VA would be required to 
develop a methodology for establishing the amount of such 
copayments. That methodology would establish a maximum monthly 
copayment based on all income and assets of the veteran and 
spouse; protect the spouse who continues to reside in the 
community from financial hardship; and allow the veteran to 
retain a monthly personal allowance. Copayments would be 
deposited into a new extended care revolving fund to be used to 
expand extended care programming.
      Section 101(b) would require VA (1) to develop and begin 
to implement a plan to increase (above the level of extended 
care services provided as of September 30, 1998) the percentage 
of the budget dedicated to such care and the level of services 
and variety of extended care programs; and (2) ensure that the 
staffing and level of extended care services provided in VA-
operated facilities is not less than the level of such services 
provided nationally during fiscal year 1998.
      Section 101(c) would authorize VA to furnish adult day 
health care services to an enrolled veteran who would otherwise 
require nursing home care, and would lift the limitation on 
providing adult day health care services to a veteran for more 
than six months. The measure would also authorize VA to 
contract for provision of respite care services, and lift the 
limitation that such services must be provided in VA facilities. The 
measure would also authorize VA to establish per diem payments to State 
homes for respite care and noninstitutional care services.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 101) would amend the 
definition in chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, of 
the term ``medical services'' to include the term 
``noninstitutional extended care services.'' This would require 
the Secretary to provide home-based primary care, adult day 
health care, respite care, palliative and end-of-life care, and 
home health aide visits to enrolled veterans. It would further 
define respite care to provide that such care could be 
furnished in the patient's home or in a VA facility. The 
measure would also remove the six-month time limitation on 
furnishing of adult day health care.
Conference agreement
      The conference agreement incorporates provisions from 
both the House and Senate bills. The Senate recedes to the 
House on directing VA to operate and maintain an extended care 
program (subject to funding), and to maintain in-house extended 
care staffing and services at the FY 1998 level.
      The Senate recedes to the House provision mandating 
extended care services, modified to limit the mandate for 
nursing home care for nonservice-connected conditions to 
veterans who are 70% or more service-connected disabled. The 
House recedes to the Senate on adding to the definition of the 
term ``medical services'' the term ``noninstitutional extended 
care services,'' with a modified definition of that term. VA 
would evaluate and report to the Committees within three years 
after enactment on its experience in providing services under 
these two provisions. Such evaluation would assist the 
Committees in assessing whether at the end of four years these 
provisions should be modified or extended. In the event these 
provisions were to expire, veterans would continue to be 
eligible for such services as under existing law. With respect 
to the change in law governing nursing home care, the 
conference agreement would also make clear that patients 
currently receiving VA nursing home care who are not service 
connected or are less than 70% service-connected may not be 
discharged or transferred if they continue to need such care.
      The Senate recedes to the House policy on copayments with 
a modification which exempts compensably rated service-
connected veterans and veterans with incomes below the pension 
rate from such copayments. Such copayments would not be 
applicable to patients who are currently in receipt of long-
term care services with respect to the current episode of care.
      The Senate recedes to the House on authorization of VA 
payments to State homes for noninstitutional care.
      The Senate recedes to the House on authorizing VA to 
contract for respite care.

          PILOT PROGRAMS RELATING TO LONG-TERM CARE (sec. 102)

Current law
      VA has broad general authority under which the Secretary 
could establish health-delivery pilot programs not inconsistent 
with law.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 102) would direct VA to 
carry out three pilot programs over a three-year period to 
determine the feasibility and practicability of different 
models for providing long-term care. Each model would be 
carried out in two VA regions (networks) designated by the 
Secretary. No network could operate more than a single pilot. 
The pilots would provide a comprehensive array of services to 
include institutional and noninstitutional long-term care 
services, and appropriate case-management. Under one pilot 
model, VA would provide long-term care services directly 
(through VA staff and facilities). A second model would employ 
a mix of VA-provided care and care provided under cooperative 
arrangements with other service providers (whom VA reimbursed 
exclusively by providing in-kind services). Under a third 
model, VA would serve as a case-manager to ensure that veterans 
receive needed long-term care services through arrangements 
with appropriate non-VA entities with VA making payment for 
such services only when not otherwise covered by another entity 
or program such as Medicare or Medicaid. VA would collect data 
relevant to such programs and, after the completion of the 
program, provide Congress a report describing the services 
provided.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate policy on establishing 
pilot programs relating to long-term care, with a modification 
that would direct the VA to conduct pilot programs to determine 
the effectiveness of different models of providing all-
inclusive care to reduce use of hospital and nursing home care.

                  ASSISTED LIVING SERVICES (sec. 103)

Current law
      Under its domiciliary program, VA provides eligible 
veterans room and board in a supervised setting. Through a VA-
supervised community residential care program (under section 
1730 of title 38, United States Code), VA assists veterans in 
obtaining placement in facilities, which in some states may be 
considered ``assisted living'' facilities. Both of these 
programs respond to some needs that might be appropriately 
addressed by assisted living facilities, yet VA lacks authority 
to contract for, or to make payments to or on behalf of, a 
veteran for assisted living services.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 303) would require the 
VA Secretary to provide a comprehensive report no later than 
April 1, 2000, to the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' 
Affairs to determine the feasibility of establishing a pilot 
program to veterans for assisted living services. The report 
would contain the following information: (1) services and 
staffing needed for such a program, (2) the recommended design 
for such program, and (3) particular issues that the program 
should address.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 103) would direct VA to 
carry out a three-year pilot program to determine the 
feasibility of providing veterans assisted living services. 
Under this pilot, VA would provide services to any enrolled 
veteran, but would charge a copayment equal to the amount 
determined under section 1710(f) of title 38, United States 
Code, in the case of ``category C'' veterans. VA would be 
authorized to provide these services to the spouse of a veteran 
receiving assisted living services if the spouse agreed to pay 
for those services. VA would report to Congress annually on the 
pilot and, in a final report, assess the pilot and provide 
pertinent recommendations.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate policy on establishing a 
pilot program relating to assisted living services with a 
modification which would authorize the VA to provide for such 
services through contract arrangements. The conferees further 
recommend that VA establish the pilot in a State (or States) 
that reimburses such a program through Medicaid.

                Subtitle B--Other Access-To-Care Matters

            REIMBURSEMENT FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT (sec. 111)

Current law
      Current law directs VA, subject to available resources, 
to provide needed hospital care and medical services to 
veterans who enroll for care. (VA is not generally required to 
furnish emergency care services to enrolled veterans. It is, 
however, authorized to pay for emergency care under particular 
circumstances.) Section 1703(a)(3) of title 38, United States 
Code, covers such non-VA care for the treatment of emergencies 
(as defined) which arose in a VA facility or community nursing 
home (requiring transfer to an emergency care setting). Section 
1728 of title 38, United States Code, authorizes reimbursement 
of emergency care costs involving principally care of a 
service-connected condition or a veteran who has a total, 
permanent disability from a service-connected disability, in an 
emergency in which VA facilities were not feasibly available, 
and trying to use them would be unreasonable. VA also has 
authority to contract for emergency hospital care (under 
section 1703(a)(1)(A) of title 38, United States Code) for 
treatment of a medical emergency involving a service-connected 
condition.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 102) would authorize 
VA to make payments for the reasonable value of emergency 
treatment for certain enrolled veterans who have no health 
insurance or other health care coverage (including Medicare and 
Medicaid); have no recourse against a third party to cover 
their liability; and are not eligible for reimbursement under 
section 1728 of title 38, United States Code. The measure would 
cover only veterans in (enrollment) priority groups one through 
six who have received VA medical care within one year prior to 
the emergency treatment. It would cover medical care furnished 
when (in VA's judgment) VA facilities are not feasibly 
available; care was furnished in a medical emergency of such 
nature that delay would have been hazardous to life or health, 
and until such time that the veteran could be safely 
transferred to a VA or other Federal facility. Section 102 
would require VA to promulgate implementing regulations to set 
the maximum amount payable for such treatment; set procedures 
for, and terms under which, payment would be made; and require 
that VA payment to a provider would extinguish any liability on 
the part of the veteran.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 131) would amend the 
definition in section 1701 of title 38, United States Code, of 
the term ``medical services'' to provide that that term would 
include emergency care or reimbursement for that care. Such 
care would be defined to include care or treatment for an acute 
medical condition of such severity that a prudent layperson 
could reasonably expect the absence of immediate care to result 
in seriously jeopardizing health, seriously impairing bodily 
functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part. 
In the case of a veteran with Medicare or insurance coverage, 
VA would be a secondary payor.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification that would 
authorize VA to make reasonable payments for emergency care 
provided to enrolled veterans subject to the limitation that 
the veteran must have received VA care within a two-year period 
prior to such emergency. It would also revise the definition of 
``emergency treatment'' to incorporate a ``prudent layperson'' 
test.

       ELIGIBILITY FOR CARE OF COMBAT-INJURED VETERANS (sec. 112)

Current law
      Under current law, VA provides hospital care and medical 
services to veterans who have enrolled for VA care pursuant to 
section 1705 of title 38, United States Code. Section 1705 
establishes a priority system for purposes of enrollment. A 
veteran who has no specific eligibility for care under section 
1710(a)(1) and (2) of title 38, United States Code, is eligible 
for VA care if that veteran agrees to pay applicable 
copayments. Such veteran is afforded a lower priority for 
enrollment than veterans eligible under the above-cited 
provisions.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 103) would establish 
specific eligibility (and a priority for enrollment) for VA 
health care for a veteran who was injured in combat, but has no 
other special eligibility for care.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification that identifies 
the beneficiaries of this provision as veterans who are Purple 
Heart recipients.

          ELIGIBILITY FOR CARE OF MILITARY RETIREES (sec. 113)

Current law
      Military retirees as veterans are eligible for VA care 
but have no specific eligibility for care based on their 
retirement status.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 104) would establish a 
specific eligibility (and an enrollment priority within so-
called ``category A'') for a veteran who has retired from 
military service, who is eligible for care under the TRICARE 
program, and who is not otherwise eligible for priority access 
to VA care. Phased implementation would be based on an 
interagency agreement, the provisions of which would include 
reimbursement rates. The agreement would not cover particular 
geographic areas unless the Secretary could document that VA 
has capacity in such area to provide timely care to current 
enrollees and had determined that VA would recover its cost of 
providing such care.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification. As revised, the 
conference agreement waives the otherwise-applicable copayment 
obligation for an individual receiving VA care under the 
provisions of this section. Unlike the House Bill, the 
provision would not establish a new priority classification, 
for purposes of enrollment, for military retirees.

            TREATMENT FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS (sec. 114)

Current law
      VA is authorized to provide medical services, including 
needed treatment for substance abuse or dependence, to enrolled 
veterans. Section 1720A of title 38, United States Code, 
proscribes transferring military members to VA for treatment of 
such problems other than during the last 30 days of a tour of 
duty.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 133) would lift the 
restriction preventing VA from treating military members for 
substance abuse or dependency except during the last 30 days of 
the member's period of service.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes.

                  SEXUAL TRAUMA COUNSELING (sec. 115)

Current law
      Section 1720D of title 38, United States Code, authorizes 
VA to provide sexual trauma counseling and other appropriate 
care and services to veterans who require such services as a 
result of sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual harassment 
experienced while on active duty. This authority expires on 
December 31, 2001.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 108) would require VA 
to operate a sexual trauma program through December 31, 2002. 
It would expand the scope of required outreach and require VA 
to report to Congress on the implementation of that outreach. 
VA and DOD would also be required to report on joint efforts to 
inform separating servicemembers about eligibility for, and 
availability of, VA sexual trauma services. The provision would 
also require VA, in consultation with DOD, to conduct a study 
to determine: (1) the extent to which former reservists 
experienced physical assault or battery of a sexual nature 
while serving on active duty for training; (2) the extent to 
which such reservists have sought VA counseling related to such 
incidents; and (3) the additional resources required to meet 
the projected needs for such counseling. Finally, the measure 
would require VA to report on the number of veterans who have 
received counseling services and the number referred to 
community sources in connection with such counseling and 
services.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification that would extend 
the program through December 31, 2004.

             specialized mental health services (sec. 116)

Current law
      Under section 1706(b) of title 38, United States Code, VA 
is required to maintain its capacity to provide for the 
specialized treatment and rehabilitative needs of disabled 
veterans (including, among other specified groups, veterans 
with mental illness) within distinct programs or facilities 
dedicated to those specialized needs.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 132) would require VA 
to establish a mechanism to augment specialized mental health 
services to include establishing new programs, expanding 
provision of services, and increasing staffing. Funding for 
such program augmentations would be provided through a 
centralized fund, with an emphasis on initiatives to treat 
post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes with a modification which would require 
VA to allocate no less than $15 million to enhance specialized 
mental health programs, with particular emphasis on programs 
for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and 
substance use disorders.

                   Legislative Provisions Not Adopted

             BENEFITS FOR PERSONS DISABLED IN WORK-THERAPY

Current law
      Under current law, a veteran who is injured while working 
in a VA-sponsored vocational rehabilitation program under 
circumstances which are not the result of negligence or willful 
misconduct is entitled to compensation under section 1151(a)(2) 
of title 38, United States Code. A veteran who incurs a work-
related injury while participating in a VA-sponsored 
compensated work therapy program (authorized under section 1718 
of title 38, United States Code), however, is not entitled to 
VA compensation benefits or to benefits under applicable 
workers' compensation laws because the veteran is not an 
``employee'' of either VA or the private entity at which such 
individual may work under that program.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 105) would establish 
entitlement to VA compensation and health care coverage in 
cases in which a veteran becomes disabled or dies as a result 
of participating in a VA compensated work therapy program.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.

                TITLE II--MEDICAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

                         COPAYMENTS (sec. 201)

Current law
      Current law sets limited copayment requirements 
applicable to ambulatory care services. VA is required to 
charge veterans under treatment for a nonservice-connected 
condition (other than veterans who are 50 percent or more 
service-connected disabled and veterans whose income is below 
the pension level) $2 for each 30-day supply of medication. 
Those whose only basis for eligibility for medical care is 
veteran status and who have income above the applicable ``means 
test'' level are also required to pay copayments for each 
outpatient visit; the copayment rate is at 20 percent of the 
estimated average cost of an outpatient visit to a VA facility.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 201(a)) would (1) 
authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the $2 
drug copayment amount; (2) establish a maximum annual payment 
applicable to veterans with multiple outpatient prescriptions; 
and (3) establish copayment requirements on sensory-neural aids 
(such as hearing aids and eyeglasses), electronic equipment, 
and other costly items (other than a wheelchair or artificial 
limbs) furnished veterans for a nonservice-connected condition. 
Section 201(b) would require the Secretary to revise the 
copayment amount or amounts charged ``category C'' veterans.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification. As revised, the 
measure would authorize the Secretary to set a maximum payment 
amount for drugs for any veteran, both by year and by month. 
The measure would not provide authority to establish a new 
category of copayments for prosthetics.

              health services improvement fund (sec. 202)

Current law
      Amounts which VA receives through collections and 
copayments are to be deposited in the Department of Veterans 
Affairs Medical Care Collections Fund.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 202) would establish a 
new fund in the Treasury in which VA is to deposit amounts 
received or collected under the following new authorities under 
the bill: the pilot program for dependents; new copayments and 
the amount of the increase in copayments provided for under new 
section 1722A(b) of title 38, United States Code; funds 
received under enhanced-use leases under new section 8165(a); 
and payments from the Department of Defense under section 
104(c) of the bill. Amounts in the new Health Services 
Improvement Fund, which is intended to be used to improve 
services to veterans (such as by improving timeliness of care), 
are available without fiscal year limitation and without any 
requirement (such as is applicable to the medical care 
collections fund) that such funds be specifically appropriated. 
It is intended that such funds be credited to the extent 
feasible to the pertinent Department facility to which such 
collection or payment is attributable.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification to provide that 
amounts in the fund are to be allocated to facilities in the 
same manner as under the Medical Care Collections Fund.

allocations to facilities from medical care collections fund (sec. 203)

Current law
      Monies collected and recovered by each network and 
deposited in the Medical Care Collections Fund are to be 
allocated to such network.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 134) would provide 
that, of the monies collected and recovered by VA and deposited 
in the Medical Care Collections Fund, each facility is to 
receive the amount collected or recovered on behalf of that 
facility.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes.

            non-profit corporations for education (sec. 204)

Current law
      Section 7361 of title 38, United States Code, authorizes 
VA (through December 31, 2000) to establish a non-profit 
corporation at any VA medical center to receive and administer 
funds for the conduct of research.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 204) would authorize 
(through December 31, 2000) the establishment of non-profit 
corporations at any VA medical center to facilitate research 
and education, or both, or the expansion of any VA research 
corporations to facilitate education as well. The provision 
would specifically identify (by reference to provisions of law) 
the types of training and education activities such 
corporations may foster. Such corporations would be subject to 
the same oversight and accountability measures as the existing 
research corporations. The provision would make any 
expenditures related to education activities subject to 
policies, procedures, and approval processes prescribed by the 
Under Secretary for Health.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification that would define 
the term ``education and training'' and would revise reporting 
requirements for the corporations.

              extension of certain authorities (sec. 205)

Current law
      In addition to providing ongoing authority to furnish 
readjustment counseling to Vietnam-theater veterans and other 
veterans who served in a theater of combat operations or in 
certain areas of armed conflict after the Vietnam War, VA is 
authorized to provide readjustment counseling to veterans of 
the Vietnam era who seek such counseling before January 1, 
2000. VA is required, through December 31, 1999, to evaluate 
the health status of dependents of Persian Gulf War veterans, 
and to distribute a newsletter to veterans listed in VA's Gulf 
War registry.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 205) would extend 
through January 1, 2003, the date by which Vietnam era veterans 
must apply to be eligible for readjustment counseling services.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 135) would extend the 
requirements relating to Gulf War veterans for three years.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes to the House with a modification that 
would extend until December 31, 2003, the period within which 
Vietnam era veterans may apply for and receive counseling. The 
House recedes with a modification that would extend the 
expiring provisions relating to Persian Gulf veterans for four 
years.

 REESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (sec. 
                                  206)

Current law
      Section 7321 of title 38, United States Code, directs VA 
to establish and support a Committee on Care of Severely 
Chronically Mentally Ill Veterans to carry out a continuing 
assessment of VA's capacity to meet effectively the treatment 
needs of severely mentally ill veterans and to advise on 
specific program matters. The Under Secretary of Health is 
required to report to Congress annually through February 1, 
2001 on the committee's findings and recommendations and on the 
steps taken to improve VA treatment of such veterans.
      Section 110 of Public Law 98-528 directed VA to establish 
a Committee on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is to serve 
as an advisory committee, to carry out a continuing assessment 
of VA's capacity to treat PTSD, and to make recommendations on 
specific program matters. The requirement that VA report to 
Congress annually regarding the committee's findings and 
recommendations and steps taken thereon lapsed with the 
requirement of a report by October 1, 1993.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 205) would extend the 
requirement that VA submit reports (through 2003) to Congress 
related to the work of the Committee on Care of Severely 
Chronically Mentally Ill Veterans, and renew the requirement 
that VA submit reports (through 2004) related to the work of 
the Committee on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes to the House regarding the 
reestablishment of the Committee on Post-Traumatic Stress 
Disorder. The provision does not extend the reporting 
requirements for the Committee on Care of Severely Chronically 
Mentally Ill Veterans; that reporting requirement does not 
lapse until next year. The Committees on Veterans' Affairs 
defer action on this provision with no prejudice to the 
important work done by this body.

                  STATE HOME GRANT PROGRAM (sec. 207)

Current law
      Current law provides a framework for VA to award grants 
to States for construction or renovation of nursing homes and 
domiciliaries for veterans. The law calls for VA regulations 
which are to include direction as to the number of beds for 
which grant support is available. The law also sets 
requirements States must meet in filing applications for such 
funds. That law also specifies the relative priority to be 
assigned applications. An application from a State that has 
made its funding available in advance is to be accorded the 
highest priority for funding. In assigning priority among such 
pre-funded State projects, current law provides that priority 
is to be given to construction or acquisition of nursing home 
or domiciliary buildings.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 206) would provide 
greater specificity in directing VA to prescribe regulations 
for the number of beds for which grant assistance may be 
furnished (providing that such regulations are to be based on 
projected demand (ten years after the bill's enactment) by 
veterans who would be 65 or older and who reside in the state). 
Under such regulations, VA is to establish criteria for 
determining the relative need for additional beds on the part 
of a State which already has such State home beds. Section 
206(b) would strengthen the requirements governing award of a 
grant. It would also revise provisions governing the relative 
priority of each application (among those projects for which 
States have made their funding available in advance). It would 
differentiate among applications for new bed construction by 
reference to the relative need for such beds; by assigning a 
higher priority to renovation projects (with a total cost 
exceeding $400,000) than under current law (with highest 
priority to renovations involving patient life or safety); and 
by assigning second highest priority to an application from a 
State that has not previously applied for award of a VA 
construction grant or a grant for a State nursing home. Section 
206(c) would establish a ``transition'' rule providing that 
current law regulations and provisions governing applications 
for State home grants would continue in effect with respect to 
applications for a limited number of projects. Those 
``grandfathered'' projects are limited to those projects on the 
list of approved projects (described in title 38, United States 
Code, section 8135(b)(4)), established by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs on October 29, 1998 for which States had made 
sufficient funds available so that the project could proceed 
upon approval of the grant without further action required by 
the State to make the funds available for that purpose.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes to the House with a modification to 
the transition provision, which takes into account the 
publication by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on November 3, 
1999, of a new list of approved projects. The revised 
transition measure retains the ``grandfathering'' provided for 
under the House bill while adding a second tier of 
grandfathered projects. The second tier consists of those 
``priority one'' projects on the VA's FY 2000 list (projects 
for which States have made their funding available in advance 
and are identified as ``priority group one'' on that list) 
submitted by States which have not received FY 1999 grant 
monies and are not included in the first-tier of grandfathered 
projects.

          EXPANSION OF ENHANCED-USE LEASE AUTHORITY (sec. 208)

Current law
      VA is authorized to enter into long-term agreements under 
which VA real property may be leased and improved for uses that 
are not inconsistent with VA's mission and at least part of the 
use of the property under the lease is to provide space for an 
activity contributing to a VA mission. A lease involving 
construction or substantial renovation may be for up to 35 
years (or otherwise for up to 20). VA must receive fair 
consideration, whether monetary, or in services or facilities. 
Seventy-five percent of funds received, after deduction of 
expenses of leasing, are to be deposited in the Nursing Home 
Revolving Fund; the remainder are to be credited to the medical 
care account for use of the facility at which the property is 
located. VA's authority to enter into enhanced-use leases 
expires on December 31, 2001.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 207) would establish 
an additional, independent basis for entering into a long-term 
agreement under which VA real property may be leased and 
improved--namely on a determination that applying the 
consideration under such a lease to provide medical care 
(pursuant to a business plan) would demonstrably improve 
services to eligible veterans in the network where the leased 
property is located. The provision would extend the maximum 
lease term to 75 years, and authorize VA to provide in the 
terms of the lease for it to use minor construction funds for 
capital contribution payments. The section would also provide 
that funds received under such arrangements (after required 
deductions) would be deposited in the new fund under section 
202 of the bill; VA would be required to make no less than 75 
percent of the amount attributable to that lease available to 
the network in which the property is located. The section would 
also repeal the termination provision.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 111) would extend until 
December 31, 2011, VA's authority to enter into ``enhanced-
use'' leases; extend the maximum authorized term for such 
leases to 55 years; and authorize the expenditure of minor 
project construction account funds for capital activities on 
property leased under that authority. It would require VA to 
provide training to VA medical center staff on approaching 
potential lessees in the medical or commercial sectors 
regarding the possibility of such leasing. The measure would 
also require VA to secure an independent analysis of 
opportunities for enhanced-use leasing. The analysis, to be 
based on a survey and assessment of VA facilities, is to 
include an integrated business plan for each facility with 
leasing potential. VA would be authorized to lease property 
identified as having development potential if the proposed 
lease is consistent with such a business plan.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes to the House with modifications that 
address the duration of leasing authority and the policy 
regarding training of medical center personnel. The conference 
agreement also includes a provision derived from the Senate 
bill which would require VA to contract with an appropriate 
entity or entities to obtain needed expertise in identifying 
opportunities for leasing. The conferees do not intend, 
however, that the conduct or planned conduct of any such 
analyses should impede or delay the VA from developing 
enhanced-use leasing opportunities which it may identify 
independent of this provision. The House recedes to the Senate 
in eliminating provisions of the bill that would have repealed 
provisions of section 8162 of title 38, United States Code, 
that prohibit enhanced use agreements unless specifically 
authorized by law at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.

      LICENSURE REQUIREMENT FOR VA HEALTH PROFESSIONALS (sec. 209)

Current law
      As reflected in section 7402 of title 38, United States 
Code, a health care professional must be licensed (or, in some 
instances, registered or certified) in a State to be eligible 
for appointment to a position in such profession in the VA. 
Current law does not specifically address the situation of a 
professional having lost his or her license to practice in one 
jurisdiction while still being licensed in another.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 208) would provide 
that an individual may not be employed as a title 38, United 
States Code, health care professional if a State has terminated 
for cause that individual's license, registration, or 
certification or such an individual has relinquished such 
license, registration, or certification after being notified in 
writing by the State of a potential termination for cause.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

               va/dod procurement coordination (sec. 210)

Current law
      VA and DoD both operate programs to procure 
pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to support the health care 
systems of the respective departments.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 136) would require the 
Secretaries of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense 
to submit to Congress, no later than March 31, 2000, a report 
on cooperation between the departments on procurement of 
pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
House bill
      The House bill contained no provision relating to this 
matter.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes.

          reimbursement for medical care in alaska (sec. 211)

Current law
      VA has authority to set payment rates for treatment 
furnished by community providers.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 137) would require that 
for one year VA, in making payments under section 1728 of title 
38, United States Code, use the payment schedule in effect for 
such purposes as of July 31, 1999 rather than the Participating 
Physician Fee Schedule under the Medicare program.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes with the understanding that the intent 
of this section is to provide a transition to a modified 
payment schedule.

              TITLE III--MISCELLANEOUS MEDICAL PROVISIONS

             changes in operations and programs (sec. 301)

Current law
      VA is under no obligation to provide Congress advance 
notice of proposed changes to the operation of individual 
facilities unless such changes would in any fiscal year reduce 
staffing at a facility by a specified percentage. In the event 
of such a ``reorganization'', as defined in section 510 of 
title 38, United States Code, VA would be required to defer 
implementation for a specified period to permit congressional 
review. Under section 1706(b) of title 38, United States Code, 
VA is to maintain its capacity to provide for the specialized 
treatment and rehabilitative needs of disabled veterans 
(including among other specified groups, veterans with mental 
illness) within distinct programs or facilities dedicated to 
those specialized needs.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 301) would establish 
new reporting requirements. It would require VA to report and 
provide justification to Congress on, and defer for a period, 
plans to ``close'' within any fiscal year more than half the 
beds within a ``bed section'' of a VA medical center (as those 
quoted terms are defined). This provision is intended to 
provide assurance that proposals which would further shrink 
programs serving veterans with severe mental illness or who 
require intensive rehabilitation, for example, are making 
adequate provision for otherwise meeting the special needs of 
such patients.
      Section 301 would also require VA to notify Congress 
annually as to the number of (and circumstances regarding) 
medical and surgical service beds closed during the fiscal 
year, and as to the number of nursing home beds that were the 
subject of a mission change during that period.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

                     va canteen service (sec. 302)

Current law
      Current law limits the scope of service which VA's 
canteens may offer visitors and employees to the sale of 
merchandise or services for consumption or use on the premises.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 302) would lift the 
restrictions on VA's canteen service relating to off-premises 
consumption and use, and would make technical changes to revise 
references in law from ``hospitals and homes'' to ``medical 
facilities.''
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification limiting the 
provision to removing the sales restrictions on off-premises 
consumption.

                   chiropractic treatment (sec. 303)

Current law
      VA has specific authority to provide eligible veterans 
(in addition to hospital care and nursing home care) with 
needed ``medical services'', a term defined to include 
``rehabilitative services'' and other unspecified services that 
``the Secretary determines to be reasonable and necessary.'' VA 
has determined that it has authority (and in some instances has 
exercised that authority) to provide certain veterans 
chiropractic treatments under ``fee-basis'' arrangements. 
Current law does not require (or specifically authorize) VA to 
furnish veterans with chiropractic treatment nor to have a 
policy on such treatment.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 304) would require the 
VA Under Secretary for Health, in consultation with 
chiropractors, to establish a policy regarding chiropractic 
treatment.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

                       hospital naming (sec. 304)

Current law
      Under section 531 of title 38, United States Code, VA 
facilities (or any major portion of a facility) shall be named 
only for its geographic location except as expressly provided 
by law.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 305) would designate 
the hospital replacement building under construction at the 
Ioannis A. Lougaris Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Reno, 
Nevada, as the ``Jack Streeter Building.''
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 112) contains a 
substantively identical provision.
Conference agreement
      The conference agreement includes the provision.

             TITLE IV--CONSTRUCTION AND FACILITIES MATTERS

                authorization of construction (sec. 401)

Current law
      Section 8104 of title 38, United States Code, provides 
that no funds may be appropriated for any fiscal year, and VA 
may not obligate or expend funds (other than for planning and 
design) for any medical construction project involving a total 
expenditure of more than $4 million unless funds for that 
project have been specifically authorized by law.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 401) would authorize 
renovations to provide a domiciliary in Orlando, Florida, using 
previously appropriated funds and construction of a surgical 
addition at the Kansas City, Missouri, VA Medical Center.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 141) would authorize 
construction of a long-term care facility at the Lebanon, 
Pennsylvania, VA Medical Center, construction of a surgical 
addition at the Kansas City, Missouri, VA Medical Center, and 
renovations at VA medical centers in both Fargo, North Dakota, 
and Atlanta, Georgia.
Conference agreement
      The conference agreement incorporates all the projects 
authorized by either bodies and also includes authorization for 
demolition of buildings at the Leavenworth, Kansas, VA Medical 
Center.

                  authorization of leasing (sec. 402)

Current law
      Section 8104 of title 38, United States Code, provides 
that no funds may be appropriated for any fiscal year, and VA 
may not obligate or expend funds for anymedical facility lease 
involving an average annual rental of more than $600 thousand unless 
funds for that lease have been specifically authorized by law.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 402) would authorize 
leases of an outpatient clinic in Lubbock, Texas, and of a 
research building in San Diego, California.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

               AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS (sec. 403)

House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 403) would authorize 
appropriations for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 of $13 million 
for construction, and $2,178,500 for the leases.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 141) would authorize 
appropriations for fiscal years 2000 of $225.5 million for 
construction.
Conference agreement
      The conference agreement would authorize appropriations 
for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 of $57.5 million for 
construction, and $2,178,500 for the leases.

                   Legislative Provisions Not Adopted

                    MEDICAL SERVICES FOR DEPENDENTS

Current law
      The VA has authority to treat non-veterans under 
``sharing agreements'' authorized under section 8153 of title 
38, United States Code. VA lacks authority, however, to recover 
from insurance companies and other third parties for the cost 
of care provided to nonveterans.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 106) would authorize 
VA to establish a three-year pilot program in which VA may 
provide primary health care services to dependents of veterans 
in up to four networks, provided that such care would not deny 
or delay access to care for veterans. Participants must have 
the ability to pay for such care directly or through 
reimbursement or indemnification by a third party. This section 
would also require that GAO monitor the pilot program, report 
its findings to VA and for VA to act on these recommendations 
as appropriate.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.

   ENHANCED SERVICES PROGRAM AT FACILITIES UNDERGOING MISSION CHANGES

Current law
      Section 510 of title 38, United States Code, authorizes 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to eliminate or redistribute 
the functions of VA facilities. Section 510 requires, with 
respect to an administrative reorganization (a term defined as 
a reduction in the number of full-time equivalent employees of 
a specified percentage), that such a reorganization not be 
implemented for at least 45 days after the Secretary has 
provided the Committees a detailed report on such proposed 
reorganization.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 107) would establish a 
process under which VA would (1) conduct studies to identify 
medical centers which should undergo mission changes, and (2) 
develop plans for such mission changes and for reallocating 
savings resulting from such change to improve veterans' access 
to care and quality of services provided. Section 107 would set 
limits on VA's authority to change medical center missions or 
close medical centers. It would require: (1) VA to determine 
(based on market and data analysis) both that the facility (in 
whole or in part) can no longer be operated efficiently and at 
optimal quality (because of such factors as the projected need 
for care-capacity, functional obsolescence, and cost of 
operating and maintaining physical plant) and that the patients 
who use the facility can receive care of appropriate quality 
under contract arrangements or at another VA medical center; 
(2) that VA consult with and provide for veterans 
organizations, unions, and other interested parties to 
participate in the development of a facility realignment plan; 
(3) VA to provide specified protections for employees who would 
be displaced under any such plan; (4) VA to maintain ongoing 
oversight of any hospital care provided under contract under a 
realignment plan; (5) that 90 percent of operational savings 
under a realignment be retained by the pertinent VA network and 
be used to establish new clinics or other means of improving 
patient access and service; and (6) VA to defer implementing a 
realignment plan pending the passage of at least 45 days 
following submission of a report to Congress on the plan.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.

                      VETERANS TOBACCO TRUST FUND

Current law
      Any monies which the United States might recover (other 
than under existing recovery provisions of title 38, United 
States Code) attributable to VA's cost of providing care to 
veterans for tobacco-related illnesses would be for deposit as 
miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 203) would require 
that if the United States pursues recovery (other than a 
recovery currently authorized under title 38, United States 
Code, for health care costs incurred by the United States that 
are attributable to tobacco-related illnesses) VA is to: (1) 
retain the proportional amount of the recovery which is 
attributable to VA's cost of providing care to veterans for 
tobacco-related illnesses; and (2) deposit such funds in a 
trust fund (the ``Veterans Tobacco Trust Fund'') in the 
Treasury to be available after fiscal year 2004 for medical 
care and research.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.

                TERMS OF OFFICE FOR VA UNDER SECRETARIES

Current law
      Appointments to the positions of Under Secretary for 
Benefits and Under Secretary for Health in the Department of 
Veterans Affairs shall be for a four-year period, with 
reappointment permissible for successive like periods; if the 
President removes such official before the completion of the 
term, the President is to communicate the reasons for the 
removal to Congress.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 138) would strike the 
provision which sets the term of appointment for the Under 
Secretary of Benefits and of Health and which requires the 
President to communicate to Congress the reasons for a removal 
from office.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.

                TITLE V--BENEFITS AND EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

                    Subtitle A--Compensation and DIC

 DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES OF FORMER 
                      PRISONERS OF WAR (sec. 501)

Current law
      Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) is paid to 
the surviving spouse or children of a veteran when the 
veteran's death is a result of a service-connected disability. 
In addition, DIC payments may be authorized for the survivors 
of veterans who die as a result of their service-connected 
disabilities if the veteran was rated totally disabled due to a 
service connected cause for a period of ten or more years 
immediately preceding death. The survivors of former prisoners 
of war are eligible for DIC benefits under the same rules as 
other veterans. However, many former POWs will not meet the 
``10-year rule,'' and their surviving spouses would therefore 
not be eligible for DIC.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 102) contained a 
provision that would authorize dependency and indemnity 
compensation to the surviving spouses of former prisoners of 
war who were rated totally and permanently disabled and who had 
one of the conditions which the law presumes a prisoner of war 
incurred while in service. Under the House bill, DIC would be 
payable even though the veteran died of a nonservice-connected 
disability and irrespective of the ten-year rule.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 204) authorizes DIC to 
those surviving spouses of certain former prisoners of war who 
have died from nonservice-connected causes if the former POW 
was rated totally disabled due to any service-connected cause 
for a period of one or more years (rather than 10 or more 
years) immediately prior to death.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes.

 REINSTATEMENT OF CERTAIN BENEFITS FOR REMARRIED SURVIVING SPOUSES OF 
        VETERANS UPON TERMINATION OF THEIR REMARRIAGE (sec. 502)

Current law
      Surviving spouses of veterans entitled to veterans 
benefits lose their eligibility for those benefits if they 
remarry. Section 8207 of Public Law 105-178 reinstated 
eligibility for dependency and indemnity compensation to former 
DIC recipients whose remarriages are terminated. However, 
ancillary survivor benefits for CHAMPVA medical care, 
education, and home loan benefits were not reinstated upon 
termination subsequent marriages.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 104) restores CHAMPVA 
medical coverage, educational assistance, and housing loan 
benefits to those surviving spouses whoseeligibility had been 
severed as the result of remarriage. This provision extends legislation 
passed in the 105th Congress (Public Law 105-178) allowing the 
reinstatement of dependency and indemnity compensation benefits to this 
group of surviving spouses.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

  PRESUMPTION THAT BRONCHIOLO-ALVEOLAR CARCINOMA IS SERVICE-CONNECTED 
                               (sec. 503)

Current law
      Section 1112(c)(2) of title 38, United States Code, 
provides veterans who participated in a ``radiation-risk 
activity'' with eligibility for service-connected compensation 
benefits based upon a presumption that certain cancers and 
other diseases were incurred or aggravated during active 
military service. The presumption applies if the veteran 
develops one of the specific diseases within 40 years after the 
last date of exposure to radiation.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 102) contained a 
provision that would add bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma to the 
list of presumed service-connected illnesses in veterans 
exposed to radiation. Scientific research has found that this 
is not a smoking-related lung cancer.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

                         Subtitle B--Employment

     CLARIFICATION OF VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES (sec. 511)

Current law
      Section 3304(f) of title 5, United States Code, accords 
preference-eligible veterans and veterans with three or more 
years of active duty service the opportunity to compete for 
vacancies in a Federal agency when the agency opens competition 
to outside applicants. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) 
has interpreted this provision to allow veterans covered by the 
Act to compete and fill job vacancies only under an 
``excepted'' hiring authority. That interpretation has the 
effect of prohibiting such veteran's job advancement on a 
competitive basis within an agency since ``excepted'' employees 
do not acquire ``competitive status.''
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 206) would clarify 
certain changes in law made under the Veterans Employment 
Opportunities Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-339). Section 206 of 
S. 1076 would confer competitive status on veterans hired under 
the Act, thereby allowing them to compete for internal 
vacancies.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate provision in modified 
form. Language has been stricken from the Senate provision 
which, according to OPM, could be construed to mean that 
persons hired under the Act would be exempt from serving a 
probationary period as civilian employees. Further, additional 
language has been added to permit OPM to promulgate regulations 
ensuring that those honorably discharged from active duty 
military service shortly before completing three years of 
service are not excluded from coverage under the Act.

                   Legislative Provisions Not Adopted

     PAYMENT RATE OF BURIAL BENEFITS FOR CERTAIN FILIPINO VETERANS

Current law
      Former members of the Philippine Commonwealth Army may 
qualify for VA disability compensation, burial benefits, and 
National Service Life Insurance benefits, and their survivors 
may qualify for dependency and indemnity compensation. These 
benefits are paid at half the rate they are provided to U.S. 
veterans.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 201) would provide, in 
cases of death after enactment of section 201, a full-rate 
funeral expense and plot allowance to Philippine Commonwealth 
Army veterans who, at the time of death: (a) are naturalized 
citizens of the United States residing in the U.S. and (b) are 
receiving compensation for a service-connected disability or 
would have been eligible for VA pension benefits had their 
service been deemed to have been active military, naval, or air 
service.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.

      REPEAL OF LIMITATION ON PAYMENTS OF BENEFITS TO INCOMPETENT 
                       INSTITUTIONALIZED VETERANS

Current law
      Under section 5503 of title 38, United States Code, VA is 
prohibited from paying compensation and pension benefits to an 
incompetent veteran who has assets of $1,500 or more if the 
veteran is being provided institutional care by VA (or another 
governmental provider) and he or she has no dependents. Such 
payments are restored if the veteran's assets drop to $500 in 
value.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1706, section 205) would repeal the 
limitation on benefit payments imposed by section 5503, title 
38, United States Code.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.

                       TITLE VI--MEMORIAL AFFAIRS

            Subtitle A--American Battle Monuments Commission

 CODIFICATION AND EXPANSION AUTHORITY FOR WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL (sec. 
  601); GENERAL AUTHORITY TO SOLICIT AND RECEIVE CONTRIBUTIONS (sec. 
        602); INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND RELATED ITEMS (sec. 603)

Current law
      Public Law 103-32 authorizes the American Battle 
Monuments Commission (ABMC) to establish a World War II 
Memorial in Washington, DC. It will be the first national 
memorial dedicated to all who served during World War II and 
acknowledging the commitment and achievement of the entire 
nation. The memorial is to be funded entirely by private 
contributions, with donations from individuals, corporations 
and foundations. Construction of the memorial will begin when 
all necessary funds have been secured.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, sections 201, 202, 203) would 
make various revisions to chapter 21 of title 36, United States 
Code. The House bill would (a) continue the authorization of 
the ABMC to solicit and accept contributions for a World War II 
Memorial in the District of Columbia; (b) codify the existing 
World War II Memorial fund and modify it to reflect changes 
made in this legislation; (c) modify the purpose for which 
funds deposited in the Treasury may be used; (d) provide the 
Commission the authority to borrow up to $65 million from the 
Treasury for groundbreaking, construction, and dedication of 
the Memorial on a timely basis; (e) require that in determining 
whether ABMC has sufficient funds to complete construction of 
the World War II memorial, the Secretary of the Interior will 
consider the $65 million in funds that the ABMC may borrow from 
the Treasury as funds available to complete the construction of 
the memorial, whether or not the ABMC has actually exercised 
the authority to borrow the funds; (f) authorize the ABMC to 
accept voluntary services in furtherance of the fundraising 
activities relative to the memorial; and to (1) establish that 
a person providing voluntary services will be considered to be 
a federal employee for purposes of chapter 81 of title 5, 
United States Code, relating to compensation for work-related 
injuries, and chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code, 
relating to tort claims, in addition; (2) authorize the ABMC to 
provide for reimbursement of incidental expenses that are 
incurred by a person providing voluntary services; and (3) 
disallow the use of volunteer services to displace or replace 
any Federal employee; (g) require that a contract entered into 
by the ABMC for the design or construction of the World War II 
Memorial not be considered a funding agreement as that term is 
defined in section 201 of title 35, United States Code; and (h) 
extend the authority to establish the Memorial to December 31, 
2005.
      Section 202 would amend section 2103(e) of title 36, 
United States Code, to specify the conditions by which the ABMC 
may solicit and receive funds and in-kind donations. It expands 
the sources from which the ABMC may solicit and receive such 
funds and requires the ABMC to prescribe guidelines to avoid 
conflicts of interest.
      Section 203 would amend chapter 21 of title 36, United 
States Code, by adding a new section 2114 entitled 
``Intellectual Property and related items'' to (a) authorize 
the Commission to use and register intellectual property and 
grant licenses, and enforce such authority; and (b) require 
that the Secretary of Defense provide the ABMC with a legal 
representative in administrative proceedings before the Patent 
and Trademark Office and Copyright Office.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1706, sections 312, 313, 314) 
contained substantively identical language.
Conference agreement
      The conference agreement contains this provision.

                    Subtitle B--National Cemeteries

       ESTABLISHMENT OF ADDITIONAL NATIONAL CEMETERIES (sec. 611)

Current law
      Congress does not direct the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs to establish cemeteries in specific areas. The National 
Cemetery Administration establishes cemeteries based on areas 
of greatest need, largely as determined by their 1987 and 1994 
reports to Congress, both entitled, ``Report on the National 
Cemetery System.''
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 211) would direct the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to: (1) establish a national 
cemetery in each of the four areas in the United States deemed 
to be most in need of such a cemetery; (2) obligate fiscal year 
2000 advance planning funds (APF) for this purpose; (3) submit 
a report to Congress within 120 days of enactment setting forth 
the four areas, a schedule for establishment, the estimated 
cost associated with establishment, and the amount obligated 
under the APF for this purpose; and (4) until the four 
cemeteries are completed, submit to Congress an annual report 
that updates the information included in the initial report.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 695, section 1) would direct the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a National Cemetery 
in the following five areas: Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan 
area; Southwestern Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida, metropolitan 
area; Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan area; and Sacramento, 
California, metropolitan area. Senate Report 106-113 identifies 
the six areas from both the 1987 and 1994 reports to Congress 
titled ``Report on the National Cemetery System'' that remain 
unserved. These areas are: (1) Detroit, Michigan; (2) 
Sacramento, California; (3) Atlanta, Georgia; (4) Miami, 
Florida; (5) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and (6) Oklahoma City, 
Oklahoma. In addition, the Senate bill would require that, 
before selecting the site for the national cemetery to be 
established, the Secretary consult with the appropriate state 
and local government officials of each of the five states and 
appropriate officials of the United States, including the 
Administrator of General Services, with respect to land 
belonging to the United States that would be suitable as a 
location for the establishment of each national cemetery. 
Further, the Secretary would submit a report to Congress as 
soon as practicable after the date of enactment on the 
establishment of national cemeteries, setting forth a schedule 
for the establishment of each cemetery and an estimate of the 
costs associated with the establishment of each cemetery.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes to the House provision with a 
modification to require the Secretary to establish a national 
cemetery in each of the six areas of the United States deemed 
to be most in need. It is the Committees' expectation that the 
Secretary shall act on the six areas identified in Senate 
Report 106-113 as those areas most in need.

  USE OF FLAT GRAVE MARKERS AT SANTA FE NATIONAL CEMETERY, NEW MEXICO 
                               (sec. 612)

Current law
      Section 2404(c)(2) of title 38, United States Code, 
requires grave markers to be upright for interments that occur 
on or after January 1, 1987, except for certain exceptions.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 695, section 2) would authorize the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide for flat grave markers 
at the Santa Fe, New Mexico, National Cemetery. It would also 
require the Secretary to submit a report to Congress within 90 
days assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the National 
Cemetery Administration using flat grave markers and upright 
grave markers. The report would have to include upright grave 
markers and include criteria to be utilized in determining 
whether to prefer the use of one type of grave marker over the 
other.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate provision but deletes the 
requirement for a report with respect to upright and flat 
markers and deletes inclusion of criteria in determining 
whether to prefer the use of one type of grave marker over the 
other. The Committees further direct the Secretary to assure 
Congress within 90 days that the new flat markers at Santa Fe 
will be implemented and maintained in a way that is befitting 
of the honor that national cemeteries are intended to bestow 
upon our Nation's veterans.

  INDEPENDENT STUDY ON IMPROVEMENTS TO VETERANS' CEMETERIES (sec. 613)

Current law
      There is no provision in title 38, United States Code, 
requiring the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct an 
independent study on potential improvements to veterans' 
cemeteries.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 212) would require 
within 180 days the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into 
a contract with one or more qualified organizations to conduct 
a study of national cemeteries. The study would include an 
assessment of: (a) the one-time repairs required at each 
national cemetery under the jurisdiction of the National 
Cemetery Administration to ensure a dignified and respectful 
setting appropriate to such cemetery; (b) the feasibility of 
making standards of appearance commensurate with the finest 
cemeteries in the world; and (c) the number of additional 
national cemeteries required for burials after 2005. The report 
would identify, by five-year periods beginning with 2005 and 
ending with 2020, the number of additional national cemeteries 
required during each five-year period and the areas in the United 
States with the greatest concentration of veterans whose needs are not 
served by national or State veterans' cemeteries. Not later than one 
year after the date on which the contract is entered into, the 
contractor would be required to submit a report to the Secretary 
setting forth the results and conclusions of the study. Not later than 
120 days after the report is submitted, the Secretary would transmit to 
the Congress a copy of the report with any comments.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes to the House provision with an 
additional requirement that the Secretary submit a report to 
Congress assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the 
National Cemetery Administration using flat grave markers and 
upright grave markers. Additionally, the Secretary is required 
to report on the current conditions of flat marker sections at 
all national cemeteries. Finally, the study of the feasibility 
of making standards of appearance at national cemeteries 
commensurate with standards of appearance of the finest 
cemeteries in the world is modified to differentiate between 
active and closed cemeteries.
      In conducting the study of national cemeteries, the 
report shall identify as a base but not necessarily be limited 
to: (1) The number of national cemeteries necessary to ensure 
90 percent of America's veterans reside within 75 miles of a 
national or State cemetery; (2) the number and percentage of 
veterans in each State who would reside within 75 miles of an 
open national or State cemetery; (3) an estimate of the 
expected construction costs and the future costs of staffing, 
equipping and operating the projected national cemeteries in 
(1) and (2) above; and (4) in addition to projecting cemetery 
needs at five-year intervals beginning in 2005 and ending in 
2020, the report should take into account cemeteries which will 
close to new burials and the age distribution of local 
veterans' populations during the reporting periods.

                      Subtitle C--Burial Benefits

 INDEPENDENT STUDY ON IMPROVEMENTS TO VETERANS' BURIAL BENEFITS (sec. 
                                  621)

Current law
      There is no provision in title 38, United States Code, 
requiring the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct one-time 
or periodic independent assessments of the adequacy and 
effectiveness of the current burial benefits administered by 
VA.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 212) would require 
that within 180 days, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs enter 
into a contract with one or more qualified organizations to 
conduct a study of national cemeteries, including potential 
enhancements to burial benefits such as an increase in the plot 
allowance.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes to the House provision with 
modifications. Not later than 60 days after the date of 
enactment, the Secretary shall enter into a contract to 
independently examine (a) the adequacy and effectiveness of the 
current burial benefits administered by the Department under 
chapter 23 of title 38, United States Code, in serving the 
burial needs of veterans and their families; (b) options to 
better serve the burial needs of veterans and their families, 
including modifications of burial benefit amounts and 
eligibility, together with estimated costs for each such 
modification; and (c) expansion of authority of the Department 
to provide burial benefits for burials in private sector 
cemeteries and to make grants to private sector cemeteries.
      The contractor shall submit a report to the Secretary 
within 120 days of entering into a contract making appropriate 
recommendations pursuant to the study findings. Within 60 days 
after receipt of the report, the Secretary shall transmit to 
the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
Representatives and the Senate a copy of the report, together 
with any comments the Secretary considers appropriate.

                TITLE VII--EDUCATION AND HOUSING MATTERS

                     Subtitle A--Education Matters

AVAILABILITY OF MONTGOMERY GI BILL BENEFITS FOR PREPARATORY COURSES FOR 
         COLLEGE AND GRADUATE SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAMS (sec. 701)

Current law
      Veterans may not use Montgomery GI Bill education 
benefits to take preparatory courses for college and graduate 
school entrance examinations. However, VA does have the 
authority to pay for preparatory post-educational professional 
examinations, such as CPA or Bar exams.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1402, section 3) would amend section 
3452(b) of title 38, United States Code, to include as a 
``program of education'' for which the Montgomery GI Bill 
(MGIB) may be used (a) preparatory courses for a test that is 
required or utilizedfor admission to an institution of higher 
education and (b) a preparatory course for a test that is required or 
utilized for admission to a graduate school.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes.

  determination of eligibility period for members of the armed forces 
commissioned following completion of officer training school (sec. 702)

Current law
      Section 3011(a) of title 38, United States Code, requires 
that MGIB participants complete their initial obligated period 
of service to receive MGIB benefits. Exceptions to this 
requirement are limited to individuals whose service is cut 
short due to disability or hardship, the convenience of the 
government (if the individual has completed 30 months of a 
three-year enlistment or 20 months of a two-year enlistment), 
or due to reduction in force by the service branch. A 
servicemember who, after a period of continuous active duty and 
following successful completion of officer training school, is 
discharged to accept a commission as an officer in the Armed 
Forces. Under current law, if the discharge occurs before 
completion of the minimum period of active duty needed to 
establish MGIB eligibility, the servicemember is ineligible for 
education benefits.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1402, section 7) would create an 
additional exception to the requirement that enlistees complete 
their initial obligated period of service in order to be 
eligible for MGIB benefits. Individuals who are discharged from 
service so that they may accept a commission would remain 
eligible for MGIB benefits if they complete the service 
obligation incurred in accepting the commission.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate provision in modified 
form to address the following: The conference agreement would 
allow the two periods of active duty (pre-commissioned and 
commissioned) to be considered as one, thus allowing these 
individuals to remain eligible for the MGIB program. Also, 
under the conference agreement, the eligibility period for 
using entitlement to educational assistance allowances under 
the MGIB expires on the later of (1) the end of the 10-year 
period beginning on the date of enactment, or (2) the end of 
the 10-year period beginning on the date of the individual's 
last discharge or release from active duty.

report on veterans' education and vocational training benefits provided 
                        by the states (sec. 703)

Current law
      Title 38, United States Code, contains no requirement 
that VA report annually to the Congress on veterans' education 
and vocational training benefits provided by the States.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1402, section 10) would require that 
VA, in consultation with the Departments of Defense, Education, 
and Labor, report annually to the Congress on veterans' 
education and vocational training benefits provided by the 
States. The first such report would be due not later than six 
months after enactment. In addition, section 10 expresses the 
sense of the Senate that the States should admit qualified 
veterans to State-supported educational institutions without 
payment of tuition.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate provision in modified 
form. Not later than six months after the date of enactment, 
the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' 
Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report 
on veterans' education and vocational training benefits 
provided by the States. Benefits to be considered as veterans' 
education and vocational training benefits include any such 
benefits provided by a State for which persons are eligible by 
reason of service in the Armed Forces, including, in the case 
of persons who died in the Armed Forces or as a result of a 
disease or disability incurred in the Armed Forces, benefits 
provided to their survivors or dependents.
      The term ``veteran'' includes a person serving on active 
duty or in one of the reserve components and a person who died 
while in the active military, naval, or air service.
      The Committees note that the conference agreement also 
lists and defines matters specifically to be included in the 
Secretary's report.

                      Subtitle B--Housing Matters

 extension of authority for housing loans for members of the selected 
                           reserve (sec. 711)

Current law
      The Department of Veterans Affairs' authority to 
guarantee home loans for members of National Guard and Reserve 
(Selected Reserve) components expires on September 30, 2003.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 301) would provide 
permanent eligibility for former members of the Selected 
Reserve for veterans housing loan guaranties. Individuals would 
continue to be required to serve at least six years in the 
Reserve or National Guard to be eligible.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes in modified form. Eligibility for 
members of the Selected Reserve for veterans housing loan 
guarantees is extended to 2007.

                   Legislative Provisions Not Adopted

                    montgomery gi bill enhancements

Current law
      Except for certain exceptions, chapter 30 of title 38, 
United States Code, generally provides active duty 
servicemembers a one-time opportunity to disenroll from the 
basic educational assistance program under the Montgomery GI 
Bill, which establishes eligibility for a monthly educational 
assistance allowance of $536 per month (as of October 1, 1999) 
for 36 months and requires a $100 monthly pay reduction over 12 
months and the fulfillment of minimum service requirements. 
Chapter 35 of title 38, United States Code, provides a monthly 
survivors' and dependents' educational assistance allowance of 
$485 per month for full-time enrollment.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1402) would make the following 
changes to the educational assistance programs under chapter 30 
of the Montgomery GI Bill: (a) increase the basic monthly 
educational assistance allowance to $600 (section 4); (b) allow 
servicemembers who have not opted out of Montgomery GI Bill 
participation to increase the monthly rate of educational 
benefits they receive after service by making contributions, 
during service, over and above the $1,200 basic pay reduction 
(section 6); (c) authorize servicemembers who had opted out of 
Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) participation to reverse their 
decision to waive their participation by accepting a $100 per 
month pay reduction for 15 months, or by ``buying into'' 
participation by making a lump sum $1,500 payment (section 8); 
and (d) authorize VA to make accelerated payments under the 
terms of regulations that VA would promulgate to allow MGIB 
participants to receive benefits for a semester, a quarter, or 
a term at the beginning of the semester, quarter or term 
(section 9).
      S. 1402 would increase the rates of survivors' and 
dependents' educational assistance to $550 per month.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provisions.

   TITLE VIII--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

    enhanced quality assurance program within the veterans benefits 
                       administration (sec. 801)

Current law
      There is no provision in title 38, United States Code, 
requiring the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to 
maintain a quality assurance program that meets governmental 
standards for internal control, separation of duties, and 
organizational independence.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 502) would require the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop and implement a 
program to review and evaluate initial decisions made by the 
Veterans Benefits Administration on claims for compensation, 
pension, education, vocational rehabilitation and counseling, 
home loans, and insurance benefits.
      The legislation gives discretion to the Department in the 
organization, number of full-time employees (FTE) and structure 
of the quality review program. This provision addresses 
problems identified by the General Accounting Office and the VA 
Inspector General in their reviews of VBA quality assurance 
matters. The Secretary is directed to design the program so 
that it complies with the governmental standards for 
independence and internal control recommended by the General 
Accounting Office in its March 1, 1999 report, ``Veterans' 
Benefits Claims: Further Improvements Needed in Claims-
Processing Accuracy.''
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

extension of authority to maintain a regional office in the republic of 
                       the philippines (sec. 802)

Current law
      Section 315(b) of title 38, United States Code, provides 
the authority for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to operate 
a regional office in the Republic of the Philippines through 
December 31, 1999. Congress has periodically extended this 
authority at VA's request in recognition that a regional office 
in the Philippines is the most cost-effective means of 
administering VA programs for beneficiaries residing there, in 
addition to providing an on-site presence to prevent potential 
fraud.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 202) would extend to 
December 31, 2004, VA's authority to operate a Veterans 
Benefits Administration regional office in the Philippines.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes in modified form. VA's authority to 
operate a regional office in the Philippines is extended to 
December 31, 2003.

    EXTENSION OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON MINORITY VETERANS (sec. 803)

Current law
      Public Law 103-466 established the VA's Advisory 
Committee on Minority Veterans. The Advisory Committee provides 
advice and consultation on the needs, problems, and concerns of 
the minority veterans community. The Advisory Committee's 
statutory authority expires on December 31, 1999.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 503) would extend the 
Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans from December 31, 1999 
to December 31, 2004.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 203) contained 
substantively identical language.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes in modified form. The Advisory 
Committee on Minority Veterans is extended to December 31, 
2003.

                      TITLE IX--HOMELESS VETERANS

      HOMELESS VETERANS' REINTEGRATION PROGRAMS (HVRP) (sec. 901)

Current law
      Section 738(e)(1) of the Stewart B. McKinney Act, section 
11448(e)(1) of title 42, United States Code, authorizes $10 
million for fiscal year 1998 and $10 million for fiscal year 
1999 for the Secretary of Labor to carry out Homeless Veterans' 
Reintegration Projects (HVRP). The HVRP appropriations 
authority expired on September 30, 1999.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 302) would create a 
new section 4111 of chapter 41, title 38, United States Code, 
to authorize appropriations to the Department of Labor of $10 
million in fiscal year 2000, $15 million in fiscal year 2001, 
$20 million in fiscal year 2002, $25 million in fiscal year 
2003, and $30 million in fiscal year 2004 for the Homeless 
Veterans' Reintegration Projects.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 123) would amend 
section 738(e)(1) of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless 
Assistance Act to authorize appropriations to the Department of 
Labor of $10 million in fiscal year 2000 and $10 million in 
fiscal year 2001 for the HVRP.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes in modified form. Appropriations are 
authorized for the HVRP at $10 million in fiscal year 2000, $15 
million in fiscal year 2001, $20 million in fiscal year 2002, 
and $20 million in fiscal year 2003.

EXTENSION OF PROGRAM OF HOUSING ASSISTANCE FOR HOMELESS VETERANS (sec. 
                                  902)

Current law
      VA furnishes assistance to homeless veterans through 
various mechanisms, both directly and by assisting community-
based not-for-profit entities that furnish assistance to 
homeless veterans. VA assistance to community-based 
organizations takes two primary forms: VA transfers VA-acquired 
residential properties to such entities for their use to house 
homeless veterans and their families, and VA makes grants to 
such entities to assist them in establishing new programs to 
furnish outreach, rehabilitative services, vocational 
counseling and training, and transitional housing services. 
Congress extended these two authorities for a two-year period 
in the Veterans' Benefits Act of 1997, Public Law 105-114. Such 
authority expires on December 31, 1999.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 121) would extend VA's 
authority to furnish assistance to homeless veterans through 
various mechanisms, both directly and by assisting community-
based not-for-profit entities that furnish assistance to 
homeless veterans, for two years, to December 31, 2001.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate in modified form. VA's 
authority to furnish housing assistance to homeless veterans is 
extended until December 31, 2003.

                 HOMELESS VETERANS PROGRAMS (sec. 903)

Current law
      Section 3 of the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Service 
Program Act of 1992, authorizes VA (through September 30, 1999) 
to make grants to public or non-profit entities to establish 
new programs to provide outreach, rehabilitative services, 
vocational assistance, and transitional housing to homeless 
veterans. In requiring VA to set criteria for the award of such 
grants, the law limits to 20 the number of programs 
incorporating the procurement of vans for which grant support 
may be provided. To carry out the Act, Public Law 102-590 
authorized annual appropriations of $48 million through Fiscal 
Year 1997, and provided further that nothing in the public law 
should be construed to diminish funds for continuation or 
expansion of existing programs.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2116, section 205) would extend 
through September 30, 2002, VA's authority to make grants 
(under the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Service Program Act 
of 1992, as amended) for new programs to combat veteran 
homelessness, and would eliminate the limitation on grant 
support for programs involving van procurement.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 122) would extend 
through September 30, 2001, VA's authority to make grants under 
the 1992 Act and would permit grants to assist in expanding 
existing programs as well as grants to establish new programs. 
It would also authorize annual appropriations of $50 million to 
carry out the Act.
Conference agreement
      The conference agreement incorporates the provisions of 
both the House and Senate bills, with a modification to extend 
the authority under the grant program through September 30, 
2003.

   PLAN FOR EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE OF PROGRAMS TO ASSIST HOMELESS 
                          VETERANS (sec. 904)

Current law
      The Government Performance and Results Act requires 
federal departments and agencies to assess and evaluate the 
effectiveness and outcomes of the programs they administer. The 
Committees note that the General Accounting Office has 
determined that the effectiveness of VA programs is unclear. 
[``Homeless Veterans: VA Expands Partnerships, but Homeless 
Program Effectiveness is Unclear'' (HEHS-99-53, April 1, 1999)]
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 124) would require the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit a report, not later 
than three months after enactment, containing a detailed plan 
for the evaluation of VA programs to assist homeless veterans. 
Such plan would be required to contain an identification of 
outcome measures adopted by VA to determine whether veterans 
who are provided housing and employment-related services are 
housed and employed six months after securing services under 
such programs.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes to the Senate provision in modified 
form. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is required to submit a 
plan, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Housing 
and Urban Development, for evaluating the effectiveness of 
programs to assist homeless veterans.

      TITLE X--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

     Subtitle A--Transitional Provisions to Stagger Terms of Judges

       EARLY RETIREMENT AUTHORITY FOR CURRENT JUDGES (sec. 1011)

Current law
      Under section 7296(b)(2) of title 38, United States Code, 
a judge of the Court is eligible to retire at the completion of 
the term for which the judge was appointed if the judge is not 
re-appointed for another term. There is no provision for the 
retirement of judges before the completion of their term except 
for judges who meet age and service (``Rule of 80'') 
requirements of section 7296(b)(1), title 38, United States 
Code.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 407) would provide for 
the early retirement of up to five judges.
Senate Bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 403) would provide a 
one-time buy-out for judges who meet the Rule of 80 retirement 
criteria. The Senate bill would also provide for temporary 
service of judges who retire or complete their terms.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with modifications to restrict to two 
the number of judges who may retire early. In addition, the 
compromise includes provisions which require that a judge who 
retires early must continue to serve until the judge's 
successor is appointed or the date on which the judge's 
original appointment would have expired. During this 
transitional service, the judge could continue to accrue credit 
toward a full retirement benefit and would receive a 
combination of salary and retirement benefits equal to the 
salaries of other judges. Judges who retire early may elect to 
be placed in recall status and thereby qualify for post-
retirement increases in retirement pay.

 MODIFIED TERMS FOR NEXT TWO JUDGES APPOINTED TO THE COURT (sec. 1012)

Current law
      Under section 7253(c) of title 38, United States Code, 
all judges are appointed for a term of 15 years.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 402) would provide for 
13-year terms for judges appointed to a position on the Court 
that becomes vacant in the year 2004.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The House recedes with a modification to change to 13 
years the term of office of the first two judges who are 
appointed after the date of enactment.

          Subtitle B--Other Matters Relating to Retired Judges

                  RECALL OF RETIRED JUDGES (sec. 1021)

Current law
      There is no provision in current law for the recall of 
retired judges.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 402) would provide for 
a recall of judges who elect at the time of retirement to be 
eligible for recall. Judges who elect to be eligible for recall 
would receive increases in the amount of their retired pay.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill (S. 1076, section 401) contains a 
provision that permits judges who have retired or whose terms 
have expired to continue serving on the court on a temporary 
basis.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

                   JUDGES' RETIREMENT PAY (sec. 1022)

Current law
      There is no specific provision authorizing judges to 
receive an increase in the amount of pay received after 
retirement.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 404) would authorize 
increases in the amount of retired pay for judges who elect to 
be recalled for service. Judges who do not elect to be eligible 
for recall would have the amount of their retired pay frozen at 
the amount for which they are eligible upon leaving office. The 
House bill also would authorize a cost of living increase for 
disability retirement benefits paid to judges who retire due to 
disability.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes with a modification to delete 
provisions concerning coordination with military retired pay.

                    SURVIVIOR ANNUITIES (sec. 1023)

Current law
      In order to qualify for a survivor annuity under section 
7297 (the program available to judges of the Court), title 38, 
United States Code, a surviving spouse must have been married 
to the judge for at least two years immediately preceding the 
judge's death, unless there are children born of the marriage. 
There is no provision for payment of a survivor annuity if a 
retired judge marries after leaving the bench. Judges are 
required to contribute 3.5 percent of their pay if they wish to 
participate in the survivor annuity plan.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 405) would reduce the 
period of marriage needed to qualify for a survivor annuity to 
one year immediately preceding the judge's death. Provision 
would be made for a judge to participate in the survivor's 
benefit plan if the judge marries after leaving the bench. The 
financial contribution of judges would be changed to reflect 
the same contribution made by judges who participate in the 
United States Court of Federal Claims survivor annuity program.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

         LIMITATION ON ACTIVITIES OF RETIRED JUDGES (sec. 1024)

Current law
      There is no provision in title 38, United States Code, 
limiting the activities of retired judges.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 406) would provide for 
limitation of the activities of retired judges who are recall 
eligible.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The Senate recedes.

 Subtitle C--Rotation of Service of Judges as Chief Judge of the Court

Current law
      The Chief Judge is appointed for a term of 15 years. 
Section 7254(d) of title 38, United States Code, provides that 
in the event of a vacancy, the associate judge senior in 
service shall serve as ``acting'' Chief Judge unless the 
President designates another judge to so serve.
House bill
      The House bill contained no similar provision.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.
Conference agreement
      The bill would implement a policy that eliminates the 
requirement of a separate appointment to the Chief Judge 
position. Instead, the Chief Judge would be the most senior 
judge in regular active service on the Court. In the event that 
two eligible judges had the same seniority in commission, the 
judge senior in age would be selected.
      This person would serve as Chief Judge for five years and 
then the next most senior judge would rotate into the position. 
This provision is modeled on the provision for the Chief Judge 
for the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. 
The conference agreement also eliminates the salary distinction 
between the Chief Judge and the other judges.

                   Legislative Provisions Not Adopted

              AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE RULES AND REGULATIONS

Current law
      There is no general authority for the Court to prescribe 
rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of chapter 72 
of title 38, United States Code. The Court has specific 
authority to promulgate rules concerning the filing of 
complaints with respect to judicial conduct and rules of 
practice and procedures governing proceedings before the Court.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 401) would provide for 
the Court to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out 
chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no provision.

                    CALCULATION OF YEARS OF SERVICE

Current law
      Title 38, United States Code, is silent as to the 
calculation of years of service for purposes of retirement.
House bill
      The House bill (H.R. 2280, section 403) would treat 183 
days or more of service on the Court as a full year for 
purposes of retirement.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no similar provision.

           TITLE XI--VOLUNTARY SEPARATION INCENTIVE PROGRAMS

Current law
      VA does not currently have the authority to offer 
voluntary separation incentives.
House bill
      The House bill contained no provision.
Senate bill
      The Senate bill contained no provision.
Conference agreement
      The conference agreement provides authority to VA for one 
year to offer voluntary separation incentives to a limited 
number of FTEE.

                                   Bob Stump,
                                   Chris Smith,
                                   Jack Quinn,
                                   Cliff Stearns,
                                   Lane Evans,
                                   Corrine Brown,
                                   Mike Doyle,
                                 Managers on the Part of the House.

                                   Arlen Specter,
                                   Strom Thurmond,
                                   Jay Rockefeller,
                                Managers on the Part of the Senate.